(AP) BOSTON - A lawyer for James "Whitey" Bulger has asked an appeals court to remove the judge set to preside over the Boston mobster's murder case.
The defense told a federal appeals court Tuesday that reasonable people might have a reasonable doubt about U.S. District Judge Richard Stearns' impartiality.
The defense claims Stearns has a conflict of interest because Bulger was an FBI informant when Stearns was a federal prosecutor. They say Bulger got an immunity deal from the FBI before Stearns headed the U.S. Attorney's Office criminal division.
But a government lawyer argued Tuesday that Stearns, who has rejected motions to recuse himself, didn't participate in and didn't know of any investigations involving Bulger.
The former boss of the so-called Winter Hill Gang faces a June trial involving 19 murder counts.