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3 men indicted in fatal beating of Boston crime boss Whitey Bulger

CLARKSBURG, W. Va. — Three men were indicted on Thursday in connection with the fatal beating of Boston crime boss James “Whitey” Bulger in federal prison nearly five years ago, the U.S. Department of Justice said.

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According to a news release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of West Virginia, Fotios “Freddy” Geas, 55, Paul “Pauly” DeCologero, 48, and Sean McKinnon, 36, have been charged with conspiracy to commit first-degree murder.

Bulger, 89, was beaten to death at the U.S. Penitentiary Hazelton in Bruceton Mills, West Virginia, on Oct. 30, 2018, WFXT-TV reported.

According to the Department of Justice news release, Geas and DeCologero are accused of striking Bulger in the head multiple times and causing his death. In addition to the conspiracy charge, Geas and DeCologero also have been charged with aiding and abetting first-degree murder, along with assault resulting in serious bodily injury.

Geas faces a separate charge of murder by a federal inmate serving a life sentence, while McKinnon faces a separate charge of making false statements to a federal agent, according to the release.

Geas is still serving at the Hazelton prison, while DeCologero is an inmate at another federal prison, WFXT reported.

Prosecutors said McKinnon, who was on federal supervised release, was arrested Thursday in Ocala, Florida, by FBI agents from Jacksonville, an FBI spokesperson told NBC News.

Bulger was beaten to death hours after he was transferred from a Florida prison, according to The Associated Press. Bulger was serving a life sentence for 11 murders and other crimes, according to the news organization.

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 facility.

Bulger was the third inmate killed over a six-month span at USP Hazelton, according to the news organization.

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