BOSTON – The woman who spent 16 years on the run with Boston mobster James "Whitey" Bulger pleaded guilty Wednesday to a criminal contempt charge for refusing to testify before a grand jury investigating whether other people helped him as a fugitive.
Catherine Greig, 64, entered her plea in U.S. District Court in Boston without having any agreement or sentencing recommendation from prosecutors. Greig is already serving an eight-year prison term for helping Bulger while he was on the lam.
Greig did not flinch when Judge F. Dennis Saylor IV told her that because there is no maximum penalty for the contempt charge, he could sentence her to any term, including up to life in prison.
When prosecutor Mary Murrane told Saylor that Greig had refused to testify despite a judge's order and grant of immunity, Greig made a point of noting that she had not asked for immunity.
After the hearing, Greig's lawyer, Keven Reddington, said she did not invoke her Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination, but instead refused to testify at all before the grand jury.
"Yeah, she loved him and still does," Reddington said.
Bulger fled Boston in late 1994 just before he was indicted and remained a fugitive until 2011, when he and Greig were found living together in a rent-controlled apartment in Santa Monica, California.
Murrane told the judge that Greig was called before a grand jury in October 2014, but refused to answer questions about whether any third parties provided assistance to her or Bulger. The following month, Judge Denise Casper entered an order compelling her to testify and granting her immunity.
Greig continued to refuse to testify. In September, she was indicted on the criminal contempt charge.
Greig has already had nine months added to her sentence on a civil contempt charge. She could face additional prison time on the criminal contempt charge. She will be sentenced April 28.
Bulger, now 86, was convicted in 2013 in a sweeping racketeering indictment. He is serving a life sentence.