- Associated Press - Tuesday, June 12, 2012

BOSTON (AP) — The longtime girlfriend of mobster James “Whitey” Bulger was sentenced Tuesday to eight years in prison for helping him stay on the run for 16 years.

Catherine Greig showed no emotion when U.S. District Judge Douglas Woodlock handed down the sentence.

The 61-year-old Greig pleaded guilty in March to charges of conspiracy to harbor a fugitive, identity fraud and conspiracy to commit identity fraud.

The judge admonished Greig for her unfailing loyalty to Mr. Bulger, who is awaiting trial on charges he participated in 19 murders.

“We are all responsible for what we do. We all make choices,” Judge Woodlock said. “There is a price to be paid.”

Greig, who also was fined $150,000, nodded to her twin sister in the front row as she was led from the courtroom.

Prosecutors say Greig and Mr. Bulger posed as married retirees from Chicago and had a stash of more than $800,000 in cash and 30 weapons in their apartment when they were captured last June in Santa Monica, Calif.

Her lawyer, Kevin Reddington, earlier appealed for leniency for his client, asking the judge to give her 27 months in prison. He said she fell in love with a “Robin Hood”-like figure, never believing in the years she helped hide one of the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted fugitives that her outlaw boyfriend was a murderer.

“Why people fall in love has been debated since before Shakespeare’s sonnets,” attorney Kevin Reddington wrote to the judge on Monday. “Many times people fall in love and their family or loved ones do not approve or condone the relationship. The truth of the matter is that she was and remained in love with Mr. Bulger.”

Assistant U.S. Attorney Jack Pirozzolo referenced the sonnets on Tuesday as he told the judge that Greig deserved a decade in prison because of the many years she helped Mr. Bulger evade capture and for the number of things she did for him, including taking him to medical appointments, posing as his wife to get his prescriptions and using false identities.

“This isn’t poetry. This is a woman who by choice — whether love or not — who chose to help a man who has been accused of vicious crimes,” Mr. Pirozzolo said.

Greig, a former dental hygienist and dog groomer, faced a maximum of 15 years — five years on each of the three charges.

She was by Mr. Bulger’s side for more than three decades, first as a secret girlfriend he kept on the side while he lived with another woman, then as the faithful woman who left behind her life in Massachusetts so she could go on the run with him.

Greig’s plea deal with prosecutors doesn’t require her to cooperate in the case against Mr. Bulger, but prosecutors said it doesn’t preclude them from trying to compel her to testify against him.

In her plea agreement, Greig admitted that she used aliases, unlawfully obtained identification documents and repeatedly helped Mr. Bulger get prescription medication from a pharmacy by pretending to be his wife.

Story Continues →