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By Daniel Lovering
BOSTON (Reuters) - Convicted gangster James "Whitey" Bulger and his girlfriend, Catherine Greig, exchanged love letters on a legal pad provided by a defense attorney who visited them in prison before the mobster went on trial last year, local media reported on Friday.
Defense attorney J.W. Carney told a meeting of Massachusetts defense lawyers this week that he offered the pad to Bulger at a correctional facility in Plymouth, Massachusetts, so he could write words of comfort to Greig, the Boston Globe reported.
Greig, a former dental hygienist, was sentenced in June 2012 to eight years in prison for her role in helping Bulger evade arrest for 16 years while the two lived as fugitives in Santa Monica, California.
The defense attorney said Bulger had told him one of his greatest regrets was never marrying Greig while they were in California, the newspaper reported.
Carney said he got approval from Greig's attorney to visit her at a federal detention center in Rhode Island, where she read Bulger's letter and cried.
She then added her own note before Carney brought the pad back to Bulger, who also wept when he read it, according to the Globe. Carney said he did not read the note before showing it to Bulger.
"To me there is no regulation or law that should prevent people from expressing love," Carney said.
Bulger, 84, was sentenced in November to two consecutive life sentences plus five years in prison for crimes, including 11 murders, extortion and drug dealing, committed while he ran Boston's brutal Winter Hill gang in the 1970s and 1980s.
He doodled constantly on a yellow legal pad during his two-month trial, as former associates and victims told tales of the gangster's shooting and strangling his victims, burying some in the dirt floor of a South Boston home.
Lawyers for Bulger plan to appeal his August conviction on 31 of 32 criminal counts.
Bulger has been moved to a correctional facility in Tucson, Arizona, according to the Federal Bureau of Prisons' website.
(Editing by Scott Malone; Edititng by Steve Orlofsky)