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3 men charged in Whitey Bulger’s 2018 prison killing agree to plea deals

Three prison inmates charged in the beating death of Boston gangster James “Whitey” Bulger nearly six years ago have agreed to a plea deal, according to a filing by federal prosecutors on Monday.

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Fotios “Freddy” Geas, Paul “Pauly” DeCologero and Sean McKinnon, were all charged in the death of Bulger, who was found beaten to death on Oct. 30, 2018, at the U.S. Penitentiary Hazelton in Bruceton Mills, West Virginia, The New York Times reported.

Details of the plea agreement were not disclosed. In a three-page motion, prosecutors said that Geas, DeCologero and McKinnon had agreed to “cooperate” with the government in preparing a report detailing the circumstances of Bulger’s death, according to the Times.

Bulger, 89, who had eluded authorities for 16 years, was found dead in his cells hours after being transferred from the U.S. Penitentiary Coleman II in Central Florida, where he was serving two consecutive life sentences for his role in 11 murders, according to the newspaper.

Geas, a former hitman, and DeCologero, a Massachusetts gangster, were accused of repeatedly hitting Bulger in the head while McKinnon served as a lookout, The Associated Press reported.

Law enforcement officials said Bulger died after he was wheeled out of view of security surveillance cameras and a padlock was placed in a sock, according to the Times. Bulger was repeatedly struck in the head until he died, NBC News reported.

Geas is serving a life sentence for murder, NBC News reported. McKinnon, who was Geas’ cellmate at Hazelton, is serving an eight-year term for stealing guns from a firearms store in Vermont, according to the news outlet. DeCologero is serving a 25-year sentence for running a violent gang in the Boston area known as the DeCologero Crew, the Times reported. He would have been eligible for parole in 2026 before he was charged for his involvement in Bulger’s death, according to the newspaper.

All three men were placed in solitary confinement in the hours after Bulger was discovered.

Bulger, the leader of Boston’s Irish crime syndicate, had been on the run for 16 years when he was caught by authorities in Santa Monica, California, in 2011, NBC News reported. He was sentenced to life in prison two years later.

Bulger’s family had previously filed a lawsuit against the Federal Bureau of Prisons and 30 unnamed employees of the prison system, the AP reported. His family members alleged that prison officials failed to protect Bulger when he was transferred to the West Virginia prison.