Security tops $1M for Georgia trial Judge tosses suit in mobster killing

Security tops $1M

for Georgia trial

The Associate Press

BRUNSWICK, Ga. -- The trial of three white men who chased and killed Ahmaud Arbery cost taxpayers $1.08 million for security and other expenses related to the high-profile case, which sometimes drew large crowds to the courthouse but resulted in no violence.

Commissioners in coastal Glynn County, Ga., said during a Tuesday meeting they spent the money on overtime and other costs stemming from having extra sheriff's deputies, police and other public safety personnel on the clock during the five-week trial, The Brunswick News reported.

Father and son Greg and Travis McMichael armed themselves and pursued Arbery in a pickup after spotting the 25-year-old Black man running in their neighborhood Feb. 23, 2020. A neighbor, William "Roddie" Bryan, joined the chase and recorded cellphone video of Travis McMichael blasting Arbery at close range with a shotgun.

The video sparked a national outcry over Arbery's killing when it was leaked online more than two months later, and officials in the port city of Brunswick and surrounding Glynn County prepared for the possibility of violent protests when the case went to trial in mid-October. A jury convicted the McMichaels and Bryan of murder and other crimes Nov. 24.

Demonstrators supporting Arbery's family gathered outside the Glynn County courthouse most days. At one point, hundreds of Black pastors converged outside the building for a prayer vigil. On another day, men in military-style fatigues calling themselves members of the New Black Panther Party marched around the courthouse carrying guns.

No violence was reported.

"The Arbery family's message of peace added a great deal to the final outcome," County Commissioner Wayne Neal said.

A judge sentenced the McMichaels to serve life in prison with no chance of parole earlier this month, while Bryan received a life sentence with a possibility of parole after serving 30 years.

Judge tosses suit

in mobster killing

The Associate Press

WHEELING, W.Va. -- A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit filed by family members of Boston crime boss James "Whitey" Bulger Jr., who was beaten to death in a federal prison in West Virginia.

U.S. District Judge John Preston Bailey in Wheeling granted the government's motion to dismiss the lawsuit, ruling that federal law precludes the family's ability to sue over the Federal Bureau of Prison's decision to transfer Bulger to the prison at Hazelton.

The family accused the bureau and 30 unnamed employees of the prison system of failing to protect Bulger by moving him to a prison with constant inmate violence. Bulger, 89, was killed at the prison in October 2018 on the same day he was transferred there from another prison.

The family had alleged the prison system was aware Bulger was labeled a "snitch," and that he was perhaps the most well-known inmate to be incarcerated since Al Capone, but did not do enough to shield him from the other inmates.

Bulger was the leader of the Winter Hill Gang, an Irish-American organized crime operation that ran loan-sharking, gambling and drug rackets in South Boston. He was also an FBI informant who snitched on the New England mob, his gang's main rival, in an era when bringing down the Mafia was a top national priority for the FBI.

He became one of the nation's most-wanted fugitives after fleeing Boston in late 1994. After more than 16 years on the run, Bulger was captured at age 81 in Santa Monica, Calif. He was later convicted in 2013 of participating in 11 murders and other crimes.

Bulger was moved to the West Virginia prison after being initially housed in Florida and in Tucson, Ariz., two prisons known for protecting inmates who may be at risk because of their crimes, according to the lawsuit, which was filed in 2020.