James 'Whitey' Bulger pleads not guilty on 19 murder counts
BOSTON (KABC) -- James "Whitey" Bulger pleaded not guilty Wednesday to a racketeering indictment that accuses the reputed former crime boss of participating in 19 murders, some dating back to the 1970s.
Bulger walked into the courtroom in shackles, and nodded to his brothers, William and John, who were seated in the front row.
The 81-year-old alleged mob boss spent 16 years on the run before being arrested last month in Santa Monica. Prosecutors say Bulger, the reputed former leader of the Winter Hill Gang, was involved in the string of murders meant to eliminate gang rivals and silence potential witnesses.
An FBI informant said he escaped arrest after an agent tipped him off about a separate indictment, which has since been dismissed.
Wednesday's court appearance was the first time Bulger has responded to the federal murder charges.
The Associated Press contributed to this story
santa monica, arrest, national news
- Roommate arrested in Westmont homicide 11 min ago
- Missing jetliner made it to Malacca Strait
- Missing hiker rescued in Santa Clarita canyon
- 'Octomom' pleads not guilty to 4th charge 37 min ago
- Lead found in soil at homes, school in Vernon
- Overturned big rig shuts lanes on 91 East
- 5 measles cases in Orange County confirmed 31 min ago
- CVS allegedly lost track of 37K painkillers
- Crimea's parliament pushes for independence
- Pistorius shot gun out car sunroof - friend
- abcnews: Family calls 911, held hostage by pet cat
- Men's Wearhouse buys Jos. A. Bank for $1.8M
- Obama pushes health care on Funny or Die
- OTRC: Taylor Swift: Billboard's No. 1 money maker