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Boston gangster Whitey Bulger convicted of murder and racketeering
William O'Brien, son of alleged James "Whitey" Bulger victim William O'Brien, speaks to media outside the federal courthouse in Boston Monday. Bulger, once the most feared mobster in Boston, was found guilty of 31 criminal counts in a sweeping murder and racketeering indictment. Bulger, 83, faces the possibility of life in prison. (REUTERS/Brian Snyder)
BOSTON, -- James "Whitey" Bulger, once the most feared mobster in Boston, was found guilty by a jury on Monday of murder and racketeering in 31 out of 32 criminal charges against him at a trial that lasted more than two months.
But jurors found that federal prosecutors had proven their case against Bulger in only 11 of the 19 murders he was accused of carrying out or ordering in his days as head of the "Winter Hill" gang in the 1970s and 1980s.
At 83 years old, Bulger likely faces the rest of his life in prison. He was arrested in 2011 after being on the run since 1994. The jury reached its verdict on the fifth day of deliberations in U.S. District Court in Boston.
The most complicated count the jury ruled on was the second racketeering offense, which encompassed 38 criminal acts including all 19 murders Bulger was charged with.
The jury found that the government had proved its case on 11 of those murders, that it had not proven its case on seven and reached no finding on one.
The jury only needed to find Bulger guilty of committing two of those 38 crimes, which also include extortion, drug dealing and money laundering, for him to be guilty of racketeering.
Bulger had pleaded not guilty to all charges, although his lawyers acknowledged that their client was a drug dealer, extortionist and loan shark, in short an "organized criminal."
Family members of Bulger's victims have long waited for verdicts on the killings, and about a half-dozen survivors have been a regular presence in the courtroom.
Bulger sat quietly in court dressed in a gray shirt, dark pants and white sneakers. He declined to testify on his own behalf at the trial.
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