Matt Connolly's Views on Boston, the Nation and the World

Emphasizing Criminal Justice and Politics

Originally dedicated to the vagaries of matters involving Whitey Bulger and the FBI but now expanded into more general topics.

Matt Connolly's Views on Boston, the Nation and the World - Emphasizing Criminal Justice and Politics

Carney Got Pummeled! Or Did He? Part One

tyson mcneelyI’ve been anxiously waiting for this big match up between Carney and Weeks. I had suggested that we’d learn much about how the case would proceed depending on the outcome of the match. Weeks is Whitey’s side-thug and he knows more about him than anyone else. Carney did get Weeks to admit that during the Eighties once he started to work full-time with Whitey he spent more time with him than anyone else.

All along I’ve been saying Weeks is a tough witness. He listens carefully to the question and doesn’t let counsel suggest anything that is not exactly to his liking. He picks up on all the little things and lets nothing slip by. He should be pretty good at it, Carney pointed out that he has testified 31 prior times at hearings, depositions, civil trials and criminal trials. Weeks said probably more than that.

Coming into the match I felt Carney would come out a big loser if he didn’t somehow get Weeks to pull back on Whitey’s involvement in the three murders that happened at 799 East Third Street the home of Pat Nee’s brother, those of Barrett, McIntyre and Hussey. I also figured he’d expose the man in the mask in the car when Halloran and Donohue were murdered, and if real good, he’d show Whitey was not involved in that.

Carney didn’t go near any of those things. Not even close. He let them sit. Not only that Weeks put Whitey as having admitted to murdering Paulie McGonagle, Tommy King, Buddy Leonard, and being at the murder of Debbie Davis.  Carney stayed away from those also. It looked like he was greasing the skids for Whitey to go to ADX, Forence, Colorado.

I had called this the fight for the heavyweight title. If it was, Carney was left battered and beaten as he was dragged to the corner by his handlers.  None of that made sense. What about all the discovery fights Carney had and the transcripts of the 31 prior testimony? What about the book Weeks wrote? Why didn’t he use any of that to hit back at Weeks?

I knew Carney couldn’t be in the bag. He couldn’t take a fall with Whitey sitting next to him. What was I missing? One thing, if he had those 31 prior matters where Weeks had testified he pretty much knew all of Weeks strengths and weaknesses. Yet he seemed not to rely on any of them.

Clearly from my standard Carney lost the fight big and the match was over. This was no Marvelous Marvin vs Tommy Hearns but more like Mike Tyson vs Tom  Brian Peter McNeely, our local favorite. Another contender for the top prized coming out of Massachusetts like Dukakis, Kerry and Romney.

But suppose this was not the fight itself, but was only one round of the fight. What if the big fight is not any one-on-one between counsel and a witness but the total sum of all the witnesses and each witness or group of witnesses is a  round. Then you can lose a round, take a beating, and make a come back in the later rounds. You can wear your opponent down, tire him out, and set him up so he doesn’t win over the long haul. What looks like a beating may be just the introduction to a win.

I saw Carney walking around after the match today. He didn’t look like he felt he lost anything. Carney is a top lawyer. He’s highly skilled. He knows what is going on. He looked like he was humming the tune,”Going My Way.”

I had to put on my thinking cap and readjust my thoughts. What is it Carney knows that I don’t know? If today was only a round Carney knows there are lots more rounds to go. But how does he beat the murder charges, especially of the women, which he must if he is to have any type of chance.

He has Flemmi coming up who he will probably will kick around pretty good.  But that still leaves Weeks’s testimony of today untouched. How’s he going to get around that? There’s only one way.

What Carney know that I don’t is that Whitey will definitely take the stand and testify in his own behalf. I’ve been going back and forth over that. I said the trial today would give us some answers. Well that is one of them. Whitey has to testify. Putting that into the equation, I see that the whole defense of Carney has been aimed to that end.

Considering that, I see that Carney actually did quite well today because he was landing lots of telling blows which he was putting in his side pocket to save for down the line. What did he accomplish with Weeks.

One thing is clear he’s a hot head. A dangerous guy ready to explode. He also proved other things quite cleverly when you consider the goal of Whitey may not jury nullification, which I suggested at one time, but the permission by O’Sullivan to commit the criminal acts short of murder.

 

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  • AnotherMatthew inTexas says:

    WC- My Parents live is Spring and I am raising my family right around the corner (Which in Houston terms means within 30 miles). It is a very reasonable place to live without state taxes, incredibly reasonable housing (a brand new 3000 sqft home runs 200K) and good weather.

    Still, the city lacks charm and verve and unlike Boston, which reeks of “important things happen here” Houston is just a sprawling metroplex where the only zoning rule is strip clubs and gas stations have to be 300 feet away from a school. Sure, the economy is quite good here and plenty of tech jobs but it still has as much charm as a paper plate.

    Alas, this is not a blog on the town I find myself in. Thank you for the kind words.

    July 10, 2013 at 9:51 am
  • AnotherMatthew inTexas says:

    I think Carney got EXACTLY what he wanted from this day. If he quibbled over the details of the murder cases, he just reinforces the story and makes it more memorable to the jury panel.

    What he did establish was that 1) Weeks is an experienced and skillful liar, a line of questioning was dedicated to if his lies could be detected (face twitching, etc) and how many important people in this life he lied to and about. 2) Clearly established that Weeks had AMPLE motivation to cooperate with the prosecution (30 to life) and most importantly, it was shown and reiterated WHO decides if he is being truthful….the AUSA (the prosecution).

    We have seen this also established and highlighted in Martorano and others. Could the strategy be as simple as:

    The eye witnesses are bands of liars, motivated to lie and the prosecution gets to decide if their lies are truthful enough to keep them out of jail? The whole case against a “level 5″ criminal (which they concede) is a big government lynchmob populated by motivated liars to make him look like a level 10 criminal as a tactic to cover up the fact that he was NOT an informant at all but had corrupted the FBI to it’s core to the point they had become an extension of OC?

    The closing arguments highlight the fact that a desperate prosecution would sink to ANY lengths to protect the band by using the threat of jail to persuade a group of professional liars to lie for them?

    To that end, I think the prosecution defense won the exact points they cared about winning.

    July 9, 2013 at 11:41 pm
    • Doubting Thomas says:

      The prosecution would have used ariel castro if it could put this to an end in their favor! Manson, Dahmer, anyone!!

      July 10, 2013 at 12:12 am
      • mtc9393 says:

        Doubting:

        Yes, the prosecution was open to all comers with information that could help.

        July 10, 2013 at 10:16 am
    • William Connolly says:

      Brilliant analysis, Another MatthewfromTexas(we have first cousins and second cousins living around Houston; and one of my best lifelong friends Jim E. lives in Spring, Texas)but I’d conclude from your analysis that the B.C. team (Brennan & Carney) has brilliantly shown “reasonable doubt” about all the killers/murderers including Weeks, Morris, Martorano, etc., that is they all have repeatedly in the past and likely do now and will in the future Lie Through Their Teeth.

      July 10, 2013 at 9:19 am
    • mtc9393 says:

      Another:

      You are right on point that Carney achieved a good amount during his cross-examination. He did stay away from the murders since he probably knew by constant repetition Weeks would not be moved off the dime. Weeks is shown to be a liar and has an incentive to lie. The strategy is as you suggest othere than I would amend it to say it is to make a level 5 criminal into a level 10 criminal by using a group of 8 to 10 criminals to elevate him.

      I don’t see the government as interested in covering up Whitey’s informant status. It is absolutely convinced that he was an informant. His informant file according to the government is legitimate even though it may be suspect in certain ways. The government would agree that one FBI agent was corrupted and perhaps a handful of others but that was ancient history and all is well now.

      The defense probably got all it could out of Weeks – he wasn’t going to change his testimony so it got what it could based upon its ultimate strategy which is pretty much as you say a bunch of liars telling stories against the target of the government so that they could get the goodies being offered.

      July 10, 2013 at 10:03 am
  • Anonymous says:

    peter mcneely

    July 9, 2013 at 11:25 pm
    • William Connolly says:

      Correct. i’m wrong. it was Peter McNeely, who I bump into from time to time and when I do I often call him Tom or Tommy, his dad’s name. Peter sparred with my nephew Tommy in Somerville when John Ruiz was training there as an up and comer. Tommy came home one day and said, “Uncle Bill, there’s a boxer named John Ruiz (who was about 20 then) who’s going to be the heavyweight champ someday.” Well, it turned out Ruiz made the Olympic Team (I think that year was when US clashed with Moscow and US team didn’t go over to the Olympics; of Ruiz was a second; I’d have to refresh my memory) Anyway Ruiz did become World Heavyweight Champion of the WBC or WBA. and Tommy and Peter McNeely did fight for the World Heavyweight Championship. Those guys had guts, intestinal fortitude, or like my friend said, “testicular fortitude.” Anyway, thanks Anonymous for the correction: PETER McNEELY

      July 10, 2013 at 9:12 am
    • mtc9393 says:

      Anonymous:

      Thanks – I corrected it.

      July 10, 2013 at 9:18 am
  • William Connolly says:

    Matt, Mike Tyson fought Brian McNeely, a contemporary of our nephews; Tommy McNeely, his dad, our contemporary, fought Floyd Patterson and Tommy, a great guy who helped a thousand people and was an inspiration to many in his later years, was also a doorman at Bulldog’s Lounge.

    July 9, 2013 at 11:20 pm
    • mtc9393 says:

      William:

      I knew that but thanks for reminding me and I made the correction. I saw Brian fight down at Foxboro just before the Tyson fight – he was an undefeated stiff back then – some fat guy from out of state almost beat him. It was good we had local refs.

      July 10, 2013 at 9:09 am
  • ernie boch, lll says:

    What good is it to try and trip up Weeks if he s good at lying. Isn’t that what Carney got out of him today. Weeks lies all the time and is proud of it. Why trust him now?
    Also, Weeks is sequestered, right? wink wink nod nod. perhaps if he saw the cross of Marrs from the General Inspectors’s Office he would have believed Whitey’s not a rat. In theory of course. Who knows what Weeks really believes. He only knows what he has to say to get the best deal.

    Also, we should see Pat Nee testify as a hostile witness for the defense.
    Carney is putting together the brush strokes to paint this picture. And it’s a picture that few will see coming when it’s done.
    Whitey will be the last to testify, other than rebuttal witnesses, but his testimony and personality should be on the jurors mind when they retire to deliberate.
    What Whitey has to say about his deal with O’Sullivan should surprise us all. What was so important to O’Sullivan? Was it personal? I wouldn’t be surprised.

    July 9, 2013 at 10:35 pm
    • mtc9393 says:

      Ernie:

      You are exactly right – he is skilled at telling a story, remembering it, and sticking with it. Carney would have had the opportunity to see that and to understand it so he stuck a dagger into him by pointing out, as you suggest “Weeks lies all the time and is proud of it” Or, as he showed yesterday, Weeks even lies about telling the truth.

      Weeks goal is to be consistent to his prior testimony whether it is right or wrong. The mask man story shows how stubbonly he clings to fantasy. Carney must have picked it up in his study of him.

      Nee, if called, will take the 5th. That will also be good for Carney. Carney could ask the prosecutor’s for an immunity letter for Nee in open court – but I’m not sure that is wise or how it would play out.

      It looks like Whitey may be the final act. It will be a show stopper. I suppose it is fitting that he control his destiny. As I’ve said, I can’t wait for the story of the O’Sullivan meeting.

      July 10, 2013 at 7:37 am

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