BOSTON – Catherine Greig, who spent 16 years on the run with former Boston mobster James "Whitey" Bulger, will learn her sentence for helping to hide one of the FBI's Ten Most Wanted Fugitives.
Bulger and Greig were captured nearly a year ago at a Santa Monica, Calif., apartment where they spent most of those years in hiding. Bulger, now 82, awaits trial this fall on charges he participated in 19 murders.
Greig's attorney says she fell in love with a "Robin Hood like" figure, never believing that her outlaw boyfriend was a murderer.
Kevin Reddington has appealed for leniency for his 61-year-old client, asking a federal judge to give her 27 months in prison at Tuesday's hearing.
"Why people fall in love has been debated since before Shakespeare's sonnets," Reddington wrote. "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."
Greig faces a maximum of 15 years in prison, but probation officials recommended 27 to 33 months, according to the defense's sentencing memo.
The government has asked for a 10-year prison sentence, following Greig's guilty plea in March to charges of conspiracy to harbor a fugitive, identity fraud and conspiracy to commit identity fraud.
Prosecutors have called Greig's conduct the most extreme case of harboring a criminal they've seen. They said the former dental hygienist and dog groomer got money from Bulger to pay their rent and other bills, did all of their shopping and helped him get medical and dental care while on the run.
Prosecutors said Greig also traveled through multiple states with him, taking on multiple fraudulent identities to help him stay on the run. They say the pair posed as married retirees from Chicago and had a stash of more than $800,000 in cash and 30 weapons in their Santa Monica apartment, most of them hidden in the walls.
Her attorney on Monday called his client a sweet and gentle woman who helped homeless animals, and whose feelings for Bulger swayed her actions. He also suggested that the government was trying to "rectify the bungling" of their investigation of Bulger, a longtime FBI informant, and redeem themselves from bad publicity in the case.
Reddington said that after the government struck a plea deal with Greig, officials faced criticism in the media from family members of those whom prosecutors say Bulger killed.
The defense attorney singled out Steven Davis, saying he spearheaded criticism that led to a post-plea effort by the government to give Greig a severe prison sentence. Davis is the brother of a 26-year-old woman whom authorities allege Bulger killed in 1981.
Greig's attorney also formally objected Monday to a government request to allow Davis and other family members of Bulger's alleged victims to speak at her sentencing. He said they're not victims of Greig's crimes.
Firing back at the defense, Davis said Monday that a sentence of 27 months "would be the most ridiculous thing to ever come out of federal court."
He said he would speak at the courthouse Tuesday even if the judge decided he couldn't do it during Greig's sentencing.
"If we're not allowed to speak, they're gonna hear all the dirt outside," Davis, of Milton, said. "They want me to keep quiet? They're going to have to wait until I die."
Patricia Donahue, the widow of a man who died in a hail of bullets after prosecutors say Bulger opened fire on someone else in 1982, called the defense's request for 27 months in prison for Greig "a joke" that would encourage others to harbor criminals.
Donahue, of Boston, also said she was hoping to speak at Greig's sentencing.
"How are we not victims of the crime if she spent 16 years with the man responsible for my husband's death?" Donahue said.