Closing arguments begin in Bulger trial

Aug. 5, 2013 at 1:04 PM

BOSTON, Aug. 5 (UPI) -- Closing arguments in the racketeering trial of James "Whitey" Bulger began Monday in Boston with the prosecution calling much of the testimony "irrelevant."

Assistant U.S. Attorney Fred Wyshak told jurors to stay focused when deciding whether Bulger, 83, is guilty of the 32 counts against him, which include his role in 19 murders, extortion, money laundering, racketeering and stockpiling guns, USA Today reported.

"You need to keep your eyes on the ball. Don't be distracted by the [defense] with irrelevant issues," Wyshak said, referring to the defense's claim of corruption in the Boston FBI during the 1970s and 80s when Bulger allegedly committed the crimes he's charged with.

Wyshak blamed the corruption on a few "bad apples," including John Connolly and John Morris, whom Bulger was an informant for.

"It doesn't matter whether James Bulger was an informant when he puts a gun to the head of Arthur Barrett and pulls the trigger," Wyshak said. "Whether he's an informant or not, he's a murderer."

"Bodies had piled up. South Boston had been flooded with drugs," Wyshak told the jury. "The last insult of it all is that Mr. Bulger had been allowed to escape because he'd been tipped off by a corrupt FBI agent."

Bulger had been on the run since the 1990s until FBI agents arrested him in California in 2011.

The trial against Bulger began seven weeks ago; he says he's innocent.

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