A magistrate judge on Monday set a Nov. 5 trial date for James "Whitey" Bulger, rejecting a plea from the reputed gangster's lawyers for more time to prepare.
During a hearing in federal court Monday, Bulger's attorney, J.W. Carney Jr., said it would take his law firm at least a year to go through more than 500,000 documents and nearly 1,000 tapes prosecutors have turned over to the defense.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Brian Kelly said it appears that the 82-year-old Bulger is trying to "run out the clock" to avoid trial altogether.
"To suggest that he needs a full year ... I don't think is appropriate," Kelly said.
Magistrate Judge Marianne Bowler said she understands what a "monumental task" reviewing the materials will be and said she would consider Carney's request to hire additional lawyers. Bowler scheduled a status hearing for March 19.
Bulger, who was also a top-echelon FBI informant, fled Boston in 1995 after being tipped by John Connolly Jr., his longtime FBI handler. Connolly recently completed a 10-year prison sentence on racketeering charges and is now serving a 40-year sentence for helping to set in motion a mob hit in 1982 against a business executive.
Tom Donahue, the son of a man allegedly killed by Bulger, said he and the families of other victims want to see Bulger go to trial.
"My biggest fear is delays," he said.
Donahue's father, Michael, a truck driver, was killed during a hit on a man who was cooperating with investigators against Bulger. Michael Donahue gave the man a ride home. Bulger and another man are accused of riddling their car with bullets.