• Former Bulger protégé talks killings, extortion on stand Monday


    BOSTON (MyFoxBoston.com/AP) – James "Whitey" Bulger's former right-hand man took the stand Monday morning, detailing the killings of Brian Halloran and Michael Donahue and laying out years of extortion schemes in South Boston.

    Kevin Weeks said he began his career riding around with Bulger picking up envelopes containing money and beating people up if he needed to.

    It wasn't until the killings of Edward Halloran and Michael Donahue that he realized he was fully involved in the gang.

    Weeks laid out, in detail, how he acted as he was on the lookout for Halloran in Boston's seaport.

    "I said the balloon is rising, the balloon is in the air," Weeks remembered saying over a short wave radio as Halloran left a restaurant in the area.

    Moments later, Bulger pulled up along the side of the car Halloran and Donahue were in and opened fire.

    Weeks said he remembered seeing a wounded Halloran get out of the vehicle only to be shot repeatedly by Bulger, at one point the force of the bullets causing his body to "bounce" on the ground. He said Donahue was never a target.

    Weeks said he later met up with Bulger at Stephen Flemmi's parent's home, Bulger bragging about his kill and Flemmi expressing disappointment that he wasn't there. The three even visited a tow lot in South Boston where the car had been taken so Bulger could see what had been done first-hand.

    "It was all about him," said Weeks, of Bulger.

    Weeks detailed years of extortion, grabbing drug dealers and bookies and forcing them to pay "rent" for their safety. Weeks said one drug dealer had to pay Bulger's crew a $500,000 "severance package" to ensure his safety.

    He also talked about a number of weapon "hides" that contained Bulger's arsenal, including one that featured a motorized door that could be activated with a putty knife.

    There was a moment of levity in the courtroom when prosecutor Brian Kelly attempted to demo an M16 that had been modified so it would fit in a car trunk and dropped the weapon's stock, prompting laughter from the court gallery and Weeks himself.

    "That's the last demo I'm going to do," said Kelly.

    Prosecutors showed a number of photos of Weeks, Bulger and Stephen Flemmi at various locations in South Boston. In one photo, the three could be seen relaxing in lawn chairs at Columbia Park, fully aware they were under surveillance.

    Weeks became a government witness and eventually led authorities to the bodies of people who were allegedly killed by Bulger and the gang.

    Weeks has testified previously that he was present for several killings committed by Bulger and other gang members.

    The 83-year-old Bulger is accused of playing a role in 19 killings. He has pleaded not guilty.

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