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July 2, 2013

At Bulger trial, ex-FBI agent makes tearful apology

BOSTON (AP) — A former FBI agent who admitted taking payoffs from James “Whitey” Bulger offered a tearful apology yesterday to the family of one of Bulger’s alleged murder victims, but the man’s widow said his words “didn’t mean anything.”

The apology came as John Morris was being cross-examined by a defense lawyer at Bulger’s racketeering trial. Bulger, 83, is charged with participating in 19 murders in the 1970s and ’80s while he allegedly led the notorious Winter Hill Gang.

Morris testified that he told fellow FBI agent John Connolly that Edward “Brian” Halloran had given authorities information about a murder Bulger’s gang was suspected of committing.

At the time, both Morris and Connolly — his subordinate — had corrupt relationships with Bulger, who he said was a longtime FBI informant at the same time he was committing a litany of crimes.

Prosecutors say Halloran and Michael Donahue — an innocent bystander who had offered Halloran a ride home — were killed in 1982 after Connolly leaked the information to Bulger. Bulger is accused of opening fire on the car as the two men left a Boston restaurant.

Morris’ voice cracked and he appeared to choke back tears as he looked at Donahue’s widow, Patricia, and his three grown sons seated in the courtroom. Morris apologized for “things that I may have done and things that I didn’t do.”

“Not a day in my life has gone by that I haven’t thought about this. Not a day in my life has gone by that I haven’t prayed that God gives you blessing and comfort for the pain that you suffered,” Morris said.

Patricia Donahue said she believes Morris was sincere, but said his apology came “way, way too late.”

“Those words didn’t mean anything to me,” she said. “While he’s getting his (FBI) promotions, I’m mourning my husband.”

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