James “Whitey” Bulger was quietly examined at a Plymouth hospital last week for an irregular heartbeat, raising questions about whether his recurring health problems will keep him from his long-anticipated trial in June, according to a Boston Globe article.
Bulger’s lawyer, J.W. Carney Jr., was not critical of the conditions under which his elderly client is being held.
“Sheriff [Joseph] McDonald and Superintendent [Brian] Gillen have been very professional in the pretrial detention of my client, an inmate in his 80s who presents particular issues, and they have been responsive to them,” Carney told the Globe Wednesday. “I am confident at this time that my client will be mentally and physically ready to begin trial on June 6.”
He declined to comment further on Bulger’s health.
Bulger’s trip to Jordan Hospital in Plymouth last week marks at least the third time he has been taken from the jail to a hospital to be examined for chest pains or an irregular heartbeat. He was treated at Boston Medical Center in December 2011 and again in November 2012. On each occasion he was returned to the Plymouth jail, where he is being held in a high-security segregation unit and is not allowed to mingle with other inmates.
A spokesman for the Plymouth County Sheriff’s Department declined to comment Wednesday on Bulger’s condition or treatment, referring calls to the US Marshals Service, which has a contract with the department to house defendants who have been ordered held without bail while awaiting trial on federal charges.