BOSTON ¬ó The lawyer for the longtime girlfriend of Boston mobster James ¬ìWhitey¬î Bulger asked a judge on Monday to sentence her to 27 months in prison for helping the fugitive stay on the run for 16 years.
Prosecutors have asked for a decade in prison for Catherine Greig, who faces sentencing today.
The 61-year-old pleaded guilty in March to charges of conspiracy to harbor a fugitive, identity fraud and conspiracy to commit identity fraud. The 82-year-old Bulger is awaiting trial on charges he participated in 19 murders. Authorities captured the couple in Santa¬†Monica last June.
Prosecutors say the pair posed as married retirees from Chicago and had a stash of more than $800,000 in cash and 30 weapons in their apartment upon capture.
In a sentencing memo, Greig¬ís lawyer Kevin Reddington said his client was in love with Bulger and there was no evidence she knew about the money or guns.
He said Bulger was a ¬ìRobin Hood like¬î person and a ¬ìchampion of the oppressed¬î when she fled with him, years before an indictment revealed ¬ìhorrific allegations of murder.¬î
The attorney called the government¬ís sentencing recommendation a ¬ìdraconian sentence¬î to crush someone prosecutors are trying to portray as a ¬ìsinister mastermind.¬î
Reddington also suggested that the government was trying to ¬ìrectify the bungling¬î of their investigation and redeem themselves from bad publicity. He said the government struck a plea deal with Greig, then faced criticism in the media from family members of those whom prosecutors say Bulger killed.
Greig faces a maximum of 15 years in prison, but prosecutors previously said she could serve as little as 32 months under sentencing guidelines. Reddington¬ís memo says probation officials recommended a prison sentence of 27 to 33 months.
The defense attorney also singled out Steven Davis, the brother of a 26-year-old woman who prosecutor say Bulger killed in 1981, as spearheading criticism he says led to a post-plea effort by the government to give his client a long prison sentence.
Greig¬ís attorney also filed an objection Monday to a request from the U.S. attorney¬ís office to allow Davis and other family of Bulger¬ís victims to speak at her sentencing. He says they¬íre not victims of Greig¬ís crimes.
Prosecutors have called Greig¬ís conduct the most extreme case of harboring a criminal they¬íve seen. They said she protected Bulger from authorities, for years denying the family of his victims the chance to see him brought to justice.
Davis said Monday that a sentence of 27 months ¬ìwould be the most ridiculous thing to ever come out of federal court.¬î
He also criticized Greig¬ís lawer for singling him out and said he would speak at the courthouse Tuesday even if the judge decided he couldn¬ít speak during Greig¬ís sentencing.
¬ìIf we¬íre not allowed to speak, they¬íre gonna hear all the dirt outside,¬î Davis, of Milton, said. ¬ìThey want me to keep quiet? They¬íre going to have to wait until I die.¬î
Patricia Donahue, the widow of a man who died in a hail of bullets after prosecutors say Bulger opened fire on someone else in 1982, called the defense¬ís request for 27 months in prison for Greig ¬ìa joke¬î that would encourage other people to harbor criminals.
Donahue, of Boston, also said she was hoping to speak at Greig¬ís sentencing.
¬ìHow are we not victims of the crime if she spent 16 years with the man responsible for my husband¬ís death?¬î Donahue said.