Bulger lawyer says prosecutors hampering defense

Lawyers for mobster James "Whitey" Bulger have accused prosecutors of demonizing Bulger, while prosecutors said the defense is trying to influence potential jurors in his remarks to reporters.

The two sides trading accusations during a feisty hearing Friday in U.S. District Court.

Attorney J.W. Carney Jr. said prosecutors spent the nearly 17 years Bulger was a fugitive vilifying him. He said his comments to reporters have simply repeated what he has said in court during pretrial hearings.

Bulger, the former leader of the Winter Hill Gang, is scheduled to go on trial in March for his alleged participation in 19 killings. He was captured in Santa Monica, Calif., last year after fleeing Boston in late 1994.