BOSTON — Jurors in the racketeering trial of James “Whitey” Bulger finished their second day of deliberations yesterday without reaching a verdict, but the day was filled with drama as prosecutors and Bulger’s lawyers huddled with the judge and the jury asked a series of legal questions about the heart of the case against the reputed crime boss.
The jury started the day by asking Judge Denise Casper for clarification about aiding and abetting, when someone assists in the commission of a crime. They also asked whether they had to consider the statute of limitations for the crimes Bulger is charged with, but the judge told them not to be concerned about that because all of the charges were filed on time under the racketeering statute.
Then, about noon, prosecutors and Bulger’s lawyers were called into the courtroom. They huddled repeatedly with the judge and held sometimes heated discussions during four sidebars. But no explanation was given for the discussions, and neither side would comment on what issue they had discussed. The jury was not in the room during the talks.
As prosecutor Brian Kelly left the courtroom more than two hours later, he said, “Now we wait” to relatives of people Bulger is accused of killing. Kelly also said the jury was continuing its deliberations.
Bulger, 83, is charged in a sweeping racketeering indictment with participating in 19 killings during the 1970s and ’80s while he led the Winter Hill Gang, South Boston’s Irish mob. He was one of the nation’s most wanted fugitives after fleeing Boston in 1994 and was finally captured in Santa Monica, Calif., in 2011.
Prosecutors have alleged that Bulger committed some of the murders himself, but in others, they have said he assisted in various ways, including by helping in the planning or driving one of the cars used in the killing.