Three Men Charged in Whitey Bulger’s 2018 Prison Killing Reach Plea Deals, Prosecutors Announce

    by Sidney Hunt
    Published: May 16, 2024 (1 week ago)

    In a significant development in the investigation of the 2018 prison killing of notorious gangster James “Whitey” Bulger, federal prosecutors announced today that plea deals have been reached with three men charged in connection with his death. The agreements mark a major turning point in a case that has captivated the nation and raised serious questions about federal prison security.

    Bulger, the infamous Boston mob boss who led the Winter Hill Gang, was serving a life sentence for his involvement in 11 murders and numerous other crimes when he was brutally killed at the United States Penitentiary Hazelton in Bruceton Mills, West Virginia. His murder occurred just hours after his transfer to the high-security facility, under circumstances that have remained shrouded in mystery and controversy.

    The three men charged in the killing—Fotios “Freddy” Geas, Paul J. DeCologero, and Sean McKinnon—have been at the center of intense scrutiny and speculation since their arrests. According to the plea deals announced today, each has agreed to provide detailed accounts of their involvement in exchange for reduced sentences.

    Freddy Geas, a former Mafia hitman from Springfield, Massachusetts, has admitted to orchestrating the attack on Bulger. Known for his strict adherence to the mob’s code of silence and disdain for informants, Geas reportedly harbored a deep-seated hatred for Bulger, who had famously cooperated with federal authorities during his criminal career. Under the terms of his plea deal, Geas will receive a 20-year sentence, to be served consecutively with his current life sentence for previous crimes.

    Paul J. DeCologero, a member of a North Shore Massachusetts gang, confessed to his direct participation in the assault. DeCologero, who was already serving a lengthy sentence for racketeering and other offenses, has agreed to a 15-year sentence as part of his plea agreement. His cooperation is expected to provide crucial insights into the planning and execution of the murder, as well as the broader dynamics within the prison.

    Sean McKinnon, who was charged with acting as a lookout during the attack, has also reached a plea deal. McKinnon, who was serving time for a lesser offense and was due for release shortly before Bulger’s murder, has agreed to a 10-year sentence. His testimony is anticipated to shed light on how the perpetrators coordinated within the highly controlled prison environment and potentially on the lapses that allowed the attack to occur.