Prosecutors say three men involved in the killing of Whitey Bulger in prison in 2018 have reached plea deals

Three individuals accused in the 2018 prison murder of well-known Boston mobster James “Whitey” Bulger have reportedly reached plea agreements with prosecutors, as stated in court documents filed on Monday.

Fotios “Freddy” Geas, Paul J. DeCologero, and Sean McKinnon have recently reached plea deals, nearly six years after the 89-year-old gangster was fatally beaten in his cell at a troubled West Virginia prison.

Geas, a former Mafia hitman, and DeCologero, a Massachusetts gangster, allegedly struck Bulger in the head multiple times, with McKinnon acting as a lookout.

Geas and DeCologero emerged as suspects soon after Bulger’s demise, yet they evaded charges for several years as the investigation prolonged.

Prosecutors in a federal court in West Virginia have requested the court to schedule hearings for the men to modify their not-guilty pleas and proceed with sentencing. However, they have not provided any specific information regarding the plea agreements, as they have not yet been filed in court.

Belinda Haynie, the attorney representing Geas, chose not to provide a comment on Monday. Meanwhile, the attorneys representing the other two defendants have yet to respond to requests for comment from The Associated Press.

The Justice Department announced last year that it would not pursue the death penalty for Geas and DeCologero, who faced murder charges. The three men were all charged with conspiracy to commit first-degree murder, an offense that can result in a life sentence. Additionally, McKinnon was accused of providing false statements to a federal agent.

James “Whitey” Bulger, the infamous leader of the predominantly Irish mob in Boston during the 1970s and ’80s, played a dual role as an FBI informant, betraying his gang’s main rival. Avoiding prosecution, Bulger became a highly sought-after fugitive in 1994, when his FBI handler alerted him to an impending indictment. After more than 16 years on the lam, Bulger was apprehended at the age of 81.

Back in 2013, he faced a conviction for a series of 11 killings and numerous other gang-related offenses. It was reported that he committed these crimes while he was allegedly working as an informant for the FBI.

James “Whitey” Bulger met a tragic end shortly after being moved to USP Hazelton in West Virginia from a Florida prison. Despite concerns raised by the staff at Hazelton regarding violence and understaffing, Bulger was placed in the general population instead of more secure housing. This decision was heavily criticized by experts following his death.

In 2022, a thorough investigation conducted by the Justice Department inspector general revealed that the killing of Bulger was a consequence of numerous failures in management, widespread incompetence, and flawed policies within the Bureau of Prisons. While no evidence of “malicious intent” was found among bureau employees, the inspector general highlighted a series of bureaucratic errors that ultimately left Bulger vulnerable to rival gangsters while incarcerated.

Geas worked closely with the Mafia and served as an enforcer, although he was not officially recognized as a “made” member due to his Greek heritage instead of being Italian. Along with his brother, he received a life sentence in 2011 for their involvement in various acts of violence, including the murder of Adolfo “Big Al” Bruno, a boss from the Genovese crime family in Springfield, Massachusetts, in 2003. According to prosecutors, Bruno’s killing was ordered by another mobster who was angered by his cooperation with the FBI.

McKinnon was arrested for charges in Bulger’s killing while he was on federal supervised release. Previously, he had served prison time for stealing guns from a firearms dealer.

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