Co-Defendant in James “Whitey” Bulger’s Murder Sentenced to Time Served


Sean McKinnon, accused co-conspirator in the bludgeoning death of Boston gangster James “Whitey” Bulger, was sentenced to time served on Monday, avoiding additional prison time. McKinnon, 38, pleaded guilty to lying to a federal officer, with prosecutors dropping the most serious charge of conspiracy to commit first-degree murder.

McKinnon’s plea deal was part of a larger agreement with the federal government, alongside convicted mob enforcers Fotios “Freddy” Geas and Paul DeCologero. McKinnon, the first of the three to appear before the US district court in Clarksburg, West Virginia, maintains his innocence and claims he was simply watching TV in the chow hall when Bulger was murdered.

The murder occurred on October 30, 2018, when Geas and DeCologero entered Bulger’s cell in the US penitentiary in Hazelton, West Virginia. Surveillance footage captured the two entering and leaving the cell, but not the actual murder. Bulger, 89, was beaten to death with a padlock stuffed into a sock while in his wheelchair.

McKinnon’s lawyer argued that his client should receive time served, citing the nearly 2 1/2 years he spent in solitary confinement after Bulger’s murder. McKinnon has no known ties to organized crime and has insisted he had nothing to do with the murder.

Bulger, a notorious crime boss, was leader of the Winter Hill Gang and had a history of violent crimes, including extortion, racketeering, and multiple homicides. He was convicted of 11 murders and served eight years of a double life sentence before his transfer to the US penitentiary in Hazelton.

Peter McHugh
Peter McHugh

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