Whitey Bulger’s girlfriend saw her eight-year sentence upheld by a three-judge panel of the 1st Circuit Court of Appeals on Friday. The woman, Catherine Greig, is the longtime partner of the reputed girlfriend.
Greig previously pleaded guilty to conspiracy to harbor a fugitive, identity fraud, and conspiracy to commit identity fraud. The judges saw no basis to change the woman’s sentence.
Whitey Bulger is the former leader of the Winter Hill Gang. He left Boston in 1994 and stayed undercover as a fugitive until he and Greig were captured in Santa Monica, California two years ago.
Prosecutors alleged that Bulger’s girlfriend helped him in several ways while he was hiding from law enforcement. Meanwhile, Bulger is scheduled to go on trial in June to face charges of participating in 19 murders.
Greig’s attorney argued in the bid to reduce her sentence that the sentencing judge “effectively tripled” the amount of time Greig should actually spend behind bars. He added that Judge Douglas Woodlock gave Bulger’s girlfriend too much time on the fugitive-harboring charge.
Greig’s appellate attorney, Dana Curhan, added on Friday of the panel’s decision, “We disagree with it, but the court has spoken and we are going to review our options.” Those options could include asking for a hearing before the full court or even asking the US Supreme Court to heat the case.
In a written ruling, the three-judge panel explained it agreed with Woodlock, who decided that Greig’s conduct was more than simply harboring Whitey Bulger. Judge O. Rogeriee Thompson wrote on behalf of the panel:
“He also noted that Greig provided Bulger with ‘a variety of things,’ over and above mere shelter. The judge referenced the length of the pair’s time on the run, the heinous nature of the crimes Bulger is accused of committing, Greig’s capacity to make her own choices, and the fact that a less serious sentence would promote disrespect for the law.”
In a statement, US Attorney Carmen Ortiz stated that she was satisfied with the outcome, adding, “we are pleased with the Court’s decision that that Catherine Greig will be held accountable for her conduct.”