By Scott Malone
BOSTON, June 12 (Reuters) - A U.S. judge will decide on Tuesday how long the girlfriend of reputed Boston mob boss James "Whitey" Bulger will spend in prison for helping the accused murderer evade arrest for 16 years.
Prosecutors have asked for a 10-year federal prison term for Catherine Greig, 61, who in March pleaded guilty to charges that she conspired to help Bulger hide after he fled Boston in late 1994 when a corrupt Federal Bureau of Investigation agent warned him that authorities were closing in on him.
Greig's attorney, Kevin Reddington, argued in court papers on Monday that a 27-month term would be more appropriate.
"The government is clearly seeking a draconian sentence that is designed to crush the defendant," Reddington wrote. "She did not mastermind or in a sinister fashion prevent law enforcement from finding Bulger. She acted in all respects as his wife and house mate."
Greig and Bulger, 82, were arrested on June 22, 2011, in a hideout in Santa Monica, California, after the FBI stepped up its media campaign that included pictures of Greig as well as the alleged mobster, who had spent years on the FBI's "Ten Most Wanted" list.
Bulger has pleaded not guilty to charges linked to 19 murders in the 1970s and 1980s, when prosecutors say he ran the mostly Irish-American Winter Hill gang.
His trial is scheduled to start on Nov. 5, though Bulger's attorneys have argued they are not being given enough time to study the hundreds of thousands of pages of evidence prosecutors plan to submit against him.
Prosecutors, in court papers filed on Friday, also asked that Greig pay a $150,000 fine and serve three years of supervised release after her prison term.
She pleaded guilty to charges of harboring a fugitive, identity fraud and conspiracy to commit identity fraud.
Greig's attorney also objected to prosecutors' requests that survivors of Bulger's alleged victims testify at the sentencing hearing, contending that they are not "victims" of the crimes Greig confessed to.
Bulger's case inspired Martin Scorsese's 2006 Academy Award-winning film "The Departed."
The case is United States v. Catherine Greig, U.S. District Court, District of Massachusetts, No. 11-10286. (Editing by Eric Beech)