Martorano to take stand in Bulger trial again

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June 18, 2013, 6:01 am
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(NECN) - Former hit man John Martorano will take the stand again Tuesday in the trial of former Boston mobster James “Whitey” Bulger.

Monday was a scene out of the mob movie. As Martorano entered, his hair was slicked back, he wore sunglasses an expensive tailored suit and was ready to take the stand against his former friend Bulger. It was the first time they had seen each other in 31 years.

Martorano was on the stand to testify against Bulger for the prosecution. In fact, they were once friendly enough that Martorano named his youngest son after Bulger.

Margaret McLean, NECN legal analyst said, "The legal strategy behind the government here is to bring those skeletons out of the closet first."

That plea deal prompted JW Carney, Bulger's lead attorney, to file a motion asking the judge to give "cautionary instruction" to the jury before Martorano takes the stand again today, reminding the jury that Martorano did receive a generous plea deal from the government.

McLean said, "20 murders, 12 years, plus they paid him $20,000 when he got out, they gave him commissary money in the prison. And of course they allowed him to make money on a movie option, $250,000. Another $50k, plus royalties for that book deal, ‘Hitman."

Bulger is on trial for 32 counts of racketeering including 19 murders in the 1970s and 80s.

Martorano has admitted to killing 20 people when he was part of the Winter Hill Gang, the gang that Bulger once led. Martorano only served 12 years for those 20 killings in a plea deal agreement that brought him to court yesterday to testify against Bulger. Bulger is on trial for 32 counts of racketeering including 19 murders in the 1970s and 80s.

In court, we learned Martorano was "heartbroken" when he learned that in the late 90s Bulger and partner Stephen "The Rifle Man "Flemmi were working as FBI informants. Martorano says that's when he decided to cooperate with prosecutors and testify against Bulger.

Monday, only the prosecution had the chance to talk to Martorano, questioning that will continue Tuesday.

Michael Coyne, Mass School of Law Assoc. Dean and NECN legal analyst said, "What the government is trying to do is what we call ‘draw the sting.’ They need to layout all their dirty laundry before they can really put some more meat on it to show the jury some of what he says is worthwhile as to Whitey."

Tags: Boston, mobster , Whitey Bulger, jury, trial, John Martorano, Justin Michaels
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