BOSTON (AP) — The longtime girlfriend and fugitive companion of mobster James “Whitey” Bulger pleaded not guilty Monday to a contempt charge for refusing to say whether other people helped him during his 16 years on the run.
Catherine Greig, 64, made the plea during a brief appearance on the new charge in U.S. District Court. It was her first public appearance since 2012, when she was sentenced to eight years in prison on charges of conspiracy to harbor a fugitive, identity fraud and conspiracy to commit identity fraud.
The new indictment alleges that from December 2014 until last month, Greig disobeyed a judge’s order to testify before a grand jury in an investigation into “third parties” who assisted and harbored Bulger.
Bulger, now 86, fled Boston just before being indicted in early 1995. He was one of the FBI’s most wanted fugitives until he was captured in Santa Monica, California, in 2011. He and Greig had been living together in a rent-controlled apartment.
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Greig’s lawyer, Kevin Reddington, called the new charge “borderline harassment” and said Greig is looking forward to a trial.
“It’s not a matter that she knows something or is hiding anything — she knows nothing,” Reddington said after the hearing.
“She’s not going to cooperate with the government. It’s as simple as that.”
Assistant U.S. Attorney Mary Murrane said prosecutors expect to call just one witness at Greig’s trial. She did not name the witness. No trial date has been set. Magistrate Judge Marianne Bowler scheduled a status conference for Nov. 19.
When Greig was sentenced on the original charges in 2012, Reddington said Greig was in love with Bulger when she fled with him and did not believe that Bulger was capable of murder.
In 2013, Bulger was convicted of playing a role in 11 murders and other charges in a sweeping racketeering indictment. He is serving life in prison.
Prosecutors said Greig had numerous opportunities to leave Bulger during their time on the run. Instead, they said, she helped him remain a fugitive by using false identities and pretending to be his wife so she could pick up his prescriptions.
The couple posed as married retirees from Chicago. After they were captured, authorities found a stash of more than $800,000 in cash and 30 weapons in their apartment.