Whitey Bulger Update: Victims' families to have testimony limited at alleged mobster's murder trial

This undated file booking photo, obtained by WBUR 90.9 - NPR Radio Boston, shows Boston mob boss James "Whitey" Bulger, who was captured on June 22, 2011, in Santa Monica, Calif., after 16 years on the lam. Federal prosecutors in Boston filed notice on Tuesday, June 28, 2011 that they are dropping a 1994 racketeering indictment against Bulger. In the notice, U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz says prosecutors consider a later 1999 indictment charging Bulger with 19 murders the stronger case.
AP Photo/WBUR 90.9, File
Whitey Bulger
Former alleged mob boss James "Whitey" Bulger, found in Santa Monica after being on the run for 16 years, is about to stand trial for murder.
AP Photo

(AP) BOSTON - People who say their family members were killed by former Boston mobster James "Whitey" Bulger and his cohorts will have their testimony limited during his murder trial.

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Bulger's defense lawyers had sought to limit that testimony so relatives couldn't describe the emotional impact of losing loved ones. But they withdrew the motion Monday after prosecutors said their questions would aim to determine facts such as how relatives identified bodies of loved ones, not elicit emotional responses.

The issue was among more than a dozen pretrial motions heard by a U.S. District Court judge Monday. Jury selection begins Tuesday. The witness list is packed with mobsters.

Bulger denies playing a role in 19 murders. The 83-year-old fled in 1994 after being tipped off he was about to be indicted. He was captured in Santa Monica, Calif., in 2011.

Complete coverage of the Whitey Bulger case on Crimesider