Mob suspect Bulger's girlfriend appeals sentence

BOSTON Wed Jun 13, 2012 10:37am EDT

Accused Boston crime boss James ''Whitey'' Bulger (L) and his girlfriend Catherine are shown during their arraignment in federal court in Los Angeles, California in this June 23, 2011 courtroom sketch. REUTERS/Bill Robles/Artist

Accused Boston crime boss James ''Whitey'' Bulger (L) and his girlfriend Catherine are shown during their arraignment in federal court in Los Angeles, California in this June 23, 2011 courtroom sketch.

Credit: Reuters/Bill Robles/Artist

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BOSTON (Reuters) - The girlfriend of reputed U.S. mobster James "Whitey" Bulger on Wednesday appealed the eight-year sentence a judge had given her a day earlier for her role in helping the accused murderer evade justice for 16 years.

Catherine Greig, 61, made her appeal in court papers filed in Boston federal court. The one-paragraph appeal does not lay out her reasoning.

Her attorney, Kevin Reddington, told reporters after Tuesday's sentencing that he had thought the sentence was "fair" and that Greig was "not likely" to file an appeal.

Reddington did not immediately return a call seeking comment on Wednesday.

Judge Douglas Woodlock told the court on Tuesday that the sentence was heavier than normal for charges related to harboring a suspect because of the severity of Bulger's alleged crimes - including 19 murders in the 1970s and 80s - and the length of time that Greig helped Bulger avoid arrest.

Prosecutors had sought a 10-year sentence, while Greig, who had pleaded guilty in March to charges of harboring a suspect, identity theft and conspiracy to commit identity theft, had sought 27 months.

Bulger, who prosecutors say ran the Winter Hill gang, fled Boston in 1994 after getting a tip from a corrupt FBI agent that authorities were closing in on him. Greig joined Bulger a few weeks later.

The pair was arrested on June 22, 2011, in an apartment hideout in Santa Monica, California, with more than $800,000 in cash and a cache of 30 firearms. Bulger, 82, has pleaded innocent and faces a November trial.

Bulger's case inspired Martin Scorsese's 2006 Academy Award-winning film "The Departed."

The case is United States v. Catherine Greig, U.S. District Court, District of Massachusetts, No. 11-10286.

(Reporting by Scott Malone; Editing by Eric Beech)

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