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Continued: 'Whitey' Bulger's former right-hand man takes stand, testifies about killings, extortion

  • Article by: DENISE LAVOIE , AP Legal Affairs Writer
  • Last update: July 8, 2013 - 4:39 PM

When he called Bulger later that night, Bulger said he was eating dinner with his girlfriend and urged him to "go get something to eat," Weeks said.

Donahue's son Thomas, who has attended every day of the monthlong trial with his mother and two brothers, said hearing Weeks testify about the killing of his father had shaken his family.

"It tears you apart hearing the horrific story," he said.

Weeks, who was a close associate of Bulger's for two decades, later became a government witness and eventually led authorities to the bodies of people who were allegedly killed by Bulger and the gang. He served five years in prison after pleading guilty to being an accessory to five murders.

Bulger stared straight ahead during much of Weeks' testimony and only glanced at him occasionally.

Weeks also described how Bulger acquired a liquor store in South Boston. Prosecutors say Bulger forced Stephen Rakes to sell his liquor store to him in 1984 to use as a headquarters for his gang and as a source of "legitimate" income.

Weeks denied that the gang forced Rakes to sell the store, saying Rakes had agreed with an offer from Bulger to buy the store for $100,000. He said when they arrived at Rakes' house to close the deal, Rakes said his wife didn't want to sell the store and complained about the selling price.

"He was trying to shake us down," Weeks said.

At the time, Rakes' two young daughters were in the room and Bulger was bouncing one of the girls on his lap, Weeks said. He said he pulled a gun out of his waistband and put it on the table. The girl on Bulger's lap reached for the gun, Weeks said. Bulger then told him to put it away.

Weeks said Bulger told Rakes he couldn't back out of the sale.

"At that point, we went through with the deal," he said.

"We didn't go to him to buy the store. He came to us. It wasn't your regular extortion," Weeks said.

Rakes, who was in the courtroom for Weeks' testimony, later disputed his account and said he was forced to sell his store to Bulger.

"Kevin continues to lie, as usual, because that's what he has to do," he said.

"My liquor store was never for sale — never, never, never."

In addition to the slayings of Halloran and Donahue, Weeks has testified previously that he was present for three other killings committed by Bulger.

Bulger, 83, is accused of playing a role in 19 killings while allegedly leading the Winter Hill Gang. He has pleaded not guilty.

Bulger fled Boston in 1994 and was one of the nation's most wanted fugitives until he was captured in Santa Monica, Calif., in 2011.

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