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Victims’ relatives testify in Bulger trial

  • FILE - This June 23, 2011 booking photo provided by the U.S. Marshals Service shows James "Whitey" Bulger, captured in Santa Monica, Calif., after 16 years on the run. Bulger's trial began Wednesday, June 12, 2013 in federal court in Boston, where he is charged with playing a role in 19 killings during the '70s and '80s while allegedly the boss of the Winter Hill Gang.  (AP Photo/ U.S. Marshals Service, File)

    FILE - This June 23, 2011 booking photo provided by the U.S. Marshals Service shows James "Whitey" Bulger, captured in Santa Monica, Calif., after 16 years on the run. Bulger's trial began Wednesday, June 12, 2013 in federal court in Boston, where he is charged with playing a role in 19 killings during the '70s and '80s while allegedly the boss of the Winter Hill Gang. (AP Photo/ U.S. Marshals Service, File)

  • This undated photo released by the U.S. Attorney's Office and presented as evidence Wednesday, June 19, 2013, during the trial of James "Whitey" Bulger in U.S. District Court in Boston, shows a car with bullet holes in the door and a bloody cap on the seat. Bulger, the reputed former head of the mostly Irish-American Winter Hill Gang based in South Boston, is accused of playing a role in 19 killings during the 1970s and '80s. (AP PhotoU.S. Attorney's Office)

    This undated photo released by the U.S. Attorney's Office and presented as evidence Wednesday, June 19, 2013, during the trial of James "Whitey" Bulger in U.S. District Court in Boston, shows a car with bullet holes in the door and a bloody cap on the seat. Bulger, the reputed former head of the mostly Irish-American Winter Hill Gang based in South Boston, is accused of playing a role in 19 killings during the 1970s and '80s. (AP PhotoU.S. Attorney's Office)

  • This undated black and white photo released by the U.S. Attorney's Office and presented as evidence Wednesday, June 19, 2013, during the trial of James "Whitey" Bulger in U.S. District Court in Boston, shows a car with a blood-stained front seat and shattered glass on the floorboard. Bulger, the reputed former head of the mostly Irish-American Winter Hill Gang based in South Boston, is accused of playing a role in 19 killings during the 1970s and '80s. (AP Photo/U.S. Attorney's Office)

    This undated black and white photo released by the U.S. Attorney's Office and presented as evidence Wednesday, June 19, 2013, during the trial of James "Whitey" Bulger in U.S. District Court in Boston, shows a car with a blood-stained front seat and shattered glass on the floorboard. Bulger, the reputed former head of the mostly Irish-American Winter Hill Gang based in South Boston, is accused of playing a role in 19 killings during the 1970s and '80s. (AP Photo/U.S. Attorney's Office)

  • This undated black and white photo released by the U.S. Attorney's Office and presented as evidence Wednesday, June 19, 2013, during the trial of James "Whitey" Bulger in U.S. District Court in Boston, shows a crime scene where a victim was shot to death in a telephone booth. Bulger, the reputed former head of the mostly Irish-American Winter Hill Gang based in South Boston, is accused of playing a role in 19 killings during the 1970s and '80s. (AP Photo/U.S. Attorney's Office)

    This undated black and white photo released by the U.S. Attorney's Office and presented as evidence Wednesday, June 19, 2013, during the trial of James "Whitey" Bulger in U.S. District Court in Boston, shows a crime scene where a victim was shot to death in a telephone booth. Bulger, the reputed former head of the mostly Irish-American Winter Hill Gang based in South Boston, is accused of playing a role in 19 killings during the 1970s and '80s. (AP Photo/U.S. Attorney's Office)

  • FILE - This June 23, 2011 booking photo provided by the U.S. Marshals Service shows James "Whitey" Bulger, captured in Santa Monica, Calif., after 16 years on the run. Bulger's trial began Wednesday, June 12, 2013 in federal court in Boston, where he is charged with playing a role in 19 killings during the '70s and '80s while allegedly the boss of the Winter Hill Gang.  (AP Photo/ U.S. Marshals Service, File)
  • This undated photo released by the U.S. Attorney's Office and presented as evidence Wednesday, June 19, 2013, during the trial of James "Whitey" Bulger in U.S. District Court in Boston, shows a car with bullet holes in the door and a bloody cap on the seat. Bulger, the reputed former head of the mostly Irish-American Winter Hill Gang based in South Boston, is accused of playing a role in 19 killings during the 1970s and '80s. (AP PhotoU.S. Attorney's Office)
  • This undated black and white photo released by the U.S. Attorney's Office and presented as evidence Wednesday, June 19, 2013, during the trial of James "Whitey" Bulger in U.S. District Court in Boston, shows a car with a blood-stained front seat and shattered glass on the floorboard. Bulger, the reputed former head of the mostly Irish-American Winter Hill Gang based in South Boston, is accused of playing a role in 19 killings during the 1970s and '80s. (AP Photo/U.S. Attorney's Office)
  • This undated black and white photo released by the U.S. Attorney's Office and presented as evidence Wednesday, June 19, 2013, during the trial of James "Whitey" Bulger in U.S. District Court in Boston, shows a crime scene where a victim was shot to death in a telephone booth. Bulger, the reputed former head of the mostly Irish-American Winter Hill Gang based in South Boston, is accused of playing a role in 19 killings during the 1970s and '80s. (AP Photo/U.S. Attorney's Office)

A woman who survived a gangland hit that left her boyfriend paralyzed and his friend dead choked back tears yesterday at James “Whitey” Bulger’s trial as she recalled ducking down in the front seat of a new Mercedes Benz when she heard a hail of gunfire.

Diane Sussman de Tennen, who was shot in the arm, was the first in a series of witnesses who described being wounded or losing a loved one in shootings allegedly orchestrated by Bulger and his gang. Family members of several victims gave emotional testimony describing how they learned their relatives had been killed.

Bulger, now 83, is charged with playing a role in 19 killings during the ’70s and ’80s while allegedly the boss of the mostly Irish-American Winter Hill Gang. He has pleaded not guilty. His lawyers said he made millions through drugs, illegal gambling and loan-sharking, but they have said his former associates have fabricated or exaggerated his role to get reduced sentences for their own crimes.

Sussman de Tennen said she was in a car driven by Michael Milano – a 30-year-old bartender – on March 8, 1973, when a car pulled up to them at a stop light in Boston’s North End neighborhood.

“All of a sudden, there was this noise, a continuous stream of gunfire. . . . It was just nonstop,” she said.

After the noise ended, she got up and saw Milano, who was leaning forward into the steering wheel.

“I looked at him and I asked him if he was okay, and I got no response,” she said.

When she looked in the backseat, she saw that her boyfriend, Louis Lapiano, was seriously wounded. She later learned that he had been paralyzed and spent the next 28 years as a quadriplegic until he died in 2001.

Prosecutors said Milano was killed because he was mistaken for another man who was the intended target.

Milano’s brother Donald also testified, crying as he recalled how he was on his way to work when he heard on the radio that his brother had been killed. He had seen him the day before when his brother gave him a ride in his new Mercedes.

“He was very proud of it,” Milano said.

Under cross-examination by Bulger’s attorney, J.W. Carney Jr., Sussman de Tennen said she did not see who shot at the car.

When Carney asked if she knows who shot Milano, she declined to answer, saying it would be speculation.

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