CLARKSBURG, W.Va. (WBOY/AP) — One of the three defendants allegedly responsible for the 2018 beating death of notorious Boston gangster James “Whitey” Bulger at USP Hazelton in Preston County will be back in court soon.
Sean McKinnon, 36, is scheduled to be arraigned before U.S. District Court Judge Thomas Kleeh in Clarksburg on Friday at 11 a.m. According to an appointment order, McKinnon will be represented by Assistant Federal Public Defender Katy Cimino.
McKinnon is accused of acting as a lookout while, allegedly, Fotios “Freddy” Geas, 55, and Paul DeCologero, 48 beat Bulger to death. He is charged with conspiring to commit first degree murder with Geas and DeCologero and is currently being held in the Northeast Ohio Correctional Center in Youngstown.
In 2021, the Federal Bureau of Investigation released 300 pages of heavily redacted records showing that it was aware that Bulger was involved in loan-sharking, horse-fixing and other crimes before it recruited him as an informant. He was convicted in 2013 in connection with a series of gangland slayings and other crimes while also working as an FBI informant who ratted on the New England mob, his gang’s main rival. He has strongly denied ever being a government informant.
Last month, a call surfaced during a detention hearing for McKinnon showing that Hazelton inmates found out ahead of time that Bulger would be arriving.
A spokesperson for the U.S. Attorney’s Office Northern District of West Virginia said the other two defendants in the case have not been scheduled for any hearings yet.
Geas was sentenced to life in prison in 2011 for his roles in several violent crimes, including the 2003 killing of Adolfo “Big Al” Bruno, a Genovese crime family boss in Springfield, Massachusetts. He remains at Hazelton.
DeCologero was in an organized crime gang led by his uncle in Massachusetts and was convicted of buying heroin that was used to try to kill a teenage girl his uncle wanted dead because he feared she would betray the crew to the police. He is no longer being held in Hazelton.