High Expectations for John Martorano's Testimony in Bulger Trial

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Martorano is a key witness for prosecution; he's a former close friend and colleague of James 'Whitey' Bulger and he served prison time for 20 murders (Published Sunday, Feb 2, 2014)

    (NECN: Justin Michaels, Boston) - Day four of testimony in the James "Whitey" Bulger murder trial is sure to be a big one as a key witness for the prosecution is scheduled to take the stand.

    It’s a day decades in the making. The prosecution's star witness John Martorano will take the stand against his former colleague, Bulger.

    Reportedly, this is the first time in 31 years that Bulger and Martorano will meet face-to-face.

    Seventy-two-year-old Martorano is a former Bulger hitman who admits to killing 20 people. He served a little more than 12 years in prison after striking a deal with prosecutors. He was released in 2007.

    He will appear in court as a witness for the prosecution as they continue to build their case against Bulger, who is charged with 32 counts of racketeering, including 19 murders in the 1970s and 80s. He's also charged with extorting bookies, drug dealers and others running illegal businesses in South Boston.

    Martorano is one of three former Bulger loyalists. All of them struck deals with the prosecution as long as they agreed to testify against Bulger in this trial.

    Friday's testimony came from two former bookies, Dick O’Brien and James Katz. O'Brien will be back on the stand Monday offering more testimony against Bulger for the prosecution.

    Martorano is somebody who J.W. Carney, Bulger's lead attorney, spent time on during his opening statements last week, citing the "extraordinary" plea deals he struck with prosecutors.

    During those opening statements, Carney said:

    "The federal government was so desperate to have John Martorano testify, they basically put their hands up in the air and said take anything you want."

    It should be another interesting day here at the Moakley Federal Courthouse.