Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly reports this week that four months after the United States District held a bail hearing as to whether James “Whitey” Bulger’s longtime girlfriend, Catherine Greig, should be released from prison while awaiting trial for harboring a fugitive, a U.S. Magistrate judge has denied the request.
The judge, Jennifer C. Boal, wrote in a Nov. 4 order that Greig poses such a serious flight risk under the Bail Reform Act that no set of release conditions would assure her return appearance to court.
Boal noted that the Greig matter was not a typical harboring case where a relative merely hides someone in their house for a few days or gives a person money in order to leave town.
“Greig hid herself from law enforcement for sixteen years while allegedly aiding Bulger in eluding capture,” she wrote. “[D]uring that time, Greig lived under a variety of assumed names and was able to obtain false identification documents, some of which appear to be government-issued identifications which bear her photo and a false name.”
Although the charge against Greig is normally not one considered to be a crime of violence, the judge said she could not ignore the fact that the 60-year-old former hairdresser is accused of hiding a man accused of committing 19 murders who at one time sat on the FBI’s Most Wanted list.
“She owns a home in Massachusetts and has a sister in Massachusetts as well,” Boal said. “But she walked away from both sixteen years ago when she left Massachusetts with Bulger, demonstrating a willingness to leave everything and everyone behind.”
The ruling came just hours after Greig’s lawyer, Kevin Reddington, urged the judge to make a decision one way or the other.
“The defendant is presumed innocent and understands the unique circumstances of this case, but is requesting that this Court render a decision directing her release subject to whatever terms and conditions the Court feels are appropriate or denying the request,” Reddington wrote.
Despite the defense set back, the bail issue is not over.
Reddington will undoubtedly appeal to U.S. District Court Judge Douglas P. Woodlock, the trial judge assigned to preside over Greig’s trial.
If convicted, Greig faces up to five years in prison, three years of supervised release and a $250,000 fine.
Seeking bail is serious felony criminal cases is a challenging process that requires the assistance of an experienced Massachusetts criminal defense attorney. Sitting in jail awaiting a trial or appeal can often feel like doing “dead time.” If you have questions regarding your Massachusetts criminal appeal or to request further information, you need a Boston criminal appeals attorney. Please contact Attorney Crouch at (617) 441-5111 or email him to set up a free, initial consultation. To request further information please contact us.