Flemmi to plead guilty in plea bargain

Tuesday, October 14th 2003, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

(Boston-AP) -- Boston mobster Stephen ``The Rifleman'' Flemmi is expected to plead guilty today in Boston to murder charges, including the murder of an Oklahoma businessman.

Flemmi implicated former F-B-I agent Paul Rico in the 1981 murder of Roger Wheeler in Tulsa. In exchange, prosecutors will recommend the 69-year-old be sentenced to life in prison.

Oklahoma prosecutors agreed to drop their request for the death penalty for Flemmi in exchange for his corroborating a mob hitman's story that Rico helped set up Wheeler's killing.

Rico was arrested in Florida last week and charged with Wheeler's murder. A hearing is scheduled this morning in Miami on Oklahoma's request to extradite Rico.

Wheeler was shot to death outside a Tulsa country club. Authorities believe he was killed because he suspected the mob of skimming money from a company he owned.