BOSTON (AP) — James "Whitey" Bulger only occasionally glanced at Kevin Weeks as he took the witness stand against his former mentor and described how Bulger opened fire on a car and killed two men in 1982.
Weeks, Bulger's longtime friend, enforcer and right-hand man in the Winter Hill Gang, testified Monday in vivid detail how Bulger donned a wig and moustache, drove a souped-up "hit car" and pumped bullets into Edward "Brian" Halloran, a man he had heard was cooperating with authorities against him, and Michael Donahue, an innocent bystander who happened to offer Halloran a ride home that night.
Weeks said he saw Bulger pull up to the car Halloran got into as he left a restaurant in South Boston.
"He slid across the front seat and he yelled out, 'Brian!' and he proceeded to start shooting," Weeks said.
The car Halloran and Donahue were in drifted across the road and hit something. Halloran then got out of the car, and "Jim Bulger just started shooting right at him," Weeks said. "His body was bouncing on the ground."
A second person wearing a ski mask in the back seat of Bulger's car also fired shots, but Weeks claimed he did not know who it was.
When he called Bulger later that night, Bulger said he was eating dinner with his girlfriend and urged him to "go get something to eat," Weeks said.
Donahue's son Thomas, who has attended every day of the monthlong trial with his mother and two brothers, said hearing Weeks testify about the killing of his father had shaken his family.
"It tears you apart hearing the horrific story," he said.
Weeks, who was a close associate of Bulger's for two decades, later became a government witness and eventually led authorities to the bodies of people who were allegedly killed by Bulger and the gang. He served five years in prison after pleading guilty to being an accessory to five murders.
Bulger stared straight ahead during much of Weeks' testimony and only glanced at him occasionally.
Bulger's lawyers have not yet had a chance to cross-examine Weeks. In the past, they've challenged his credibility and criticized the plea deal Weeks received from prosecutors in exchange for his testimony. He served five years in prison after pleading guilty to being an accessory in five murders and other crimes.
Weeks said he first developed a friendship with Bulger in the 1970s while he was working as a bouncer at Triple O's, a South Boston bar where Bulger did business as the leader of the Winter Hill Gang. Soon, he said, he was working as an enforcer, driving around South Boston and picking up cash from local bookmakers Bulger and his gang were extorting.
"Sometimes I'd beat somebody up," he said.
Weeks said Bulger and his gang also extorted multiple businessmen and drug dealers for a cut of their profits.
Weeks is expected to undergo more questioning from prosecutors Tuesday, followed by cross-examination by Bulger's lawyers.
Bulger, 83, is accused of playing a role in 19 murders in the 1970s and '80s. He has pleaded not guilty. He was one of the nation's most wanted fugitives after he fled Boston in 1994. He was captured in 2011 in Santa Monica, Calif.