A Montpelier man sentenced to federal prison in 2016 is considered a suspect in the brutal killing of Boston mobster Whitey Bulger in a West Virginia penitentiary last month, according to a report in the New York Times.
Sean McKinnon, 32, is one of four men considered “prime suspects” in the killing of Bulger a day after he was transferred to the U.S. Penitentiary Hazelton, the Times report says.
McKinnon had recently been assigned to share a cell with Fotios (Freddy) Geas, a mafia hit man from West Springfield, Mass., who emerged as a suspect almost immediately after Bulger’s murder.
Geas and McKinnon were among four men “whisked to solitary” confinement hours after Bulger’s body was discovered in his cell, wrapped in blankets. He had been beaten to death with a padlock in a sock. Video cameras caught images of at least two men rolling Bulger’s body into a corner.
Also taken to solitary was Paul J. DeCologero, a Massachusetts organized crime figure who had been assigned to share a cell with Bulger. However, when the former mobster arrived on Oct. 29, he was instead reassigned to a cell with Felix Wilson, of Portsmouth, New Hampshire, who was the fourth man moved to solitary that day.
According to the Times, it’s “unclear” if McKinnon, DeCologero and Wilson were involved in the beating or helped plan or cover it up or “had merely been moved to solitary as a precaution while the investigation proceeds.”
McKinnon was 29 when he was sentenced in January 2016 to 96 months in prison for stealing 12 handguns from Barre firearms dealer.
According to the US Attorney Office in Vermont, McKinnon stole a Jeep from a Montpelier car dealership before driving to Barre and using a pry bar to break in to R&L Archery. He stole twelve .22 caliber handguns from a display case, then drove to Hartford, Connecticut, where he traded the handguns for heroin and cocaine.
McKinnon was due to be released from the Hazelton penitentiary in about four years, according to the Times.