Brian Snyder / Reuters file
J.W. Carney, defense attorney for accused mob boss James "Whitey" Bulger, revealed his purple pedicure to reporters covering the trial.
As a Boston jury deliberated Friday on whether Whitey Bulger is a bloodthirsty gang boss, a prosecutor was going after the defense lawyer for a lesser offense: showing off his purple pedicure.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Brian Kelly sniped to the judge overseeing the racketeering case that Bulger attorney J.W. Carney had shared his "strange personal habits" with reporters on Thursday.
Carney had revealed to the press that he gets his toenails painted every month and had chosen a shade variously described as eggplant, burgundy and purple for August.
Kelly told the judge Carney was welcome to expose his grooming secrets but was furious over comments he made to the media about the jury's protracted deliberations.
Kelly complained Carney shared "his strange personal habits" with media (yesterday Jay showed media his pedicured purple toenails #Bulger— Shelley Murphy (@shelleymurph) August 9, 2013
“They have taken their constitutional role with great seriousness and are clearly looking closely at the evidence and evaluating the validity of witnesses,” he was quoted as saying in the Boston Herald.
“The longer the jury stays out, the more it shows us they are as conscientious a jury as I have ever seen. And I know the prosecutors believe that and the judge believes that.”
Kelly accused Carney of trying to sway the jury with his remarks, the Herald reported. Carney said he was speaking for all sides and tried to remain neutral.
James "Whitey" Bulger poses in this undated photo provided to the court as evidence by Bulger's defense team.
Federal Judge Denise Casper did not issue an immediate ruling on the matter, and the day ended without the jury reaching a verdict.
Jurors have deliberated for 28 hours over four days and won't return again until Monday.
Bulger, 83, is charged in a 48-count indictment that accuses him of 19 murders, including the strangulation of two women, and a raft of other crimes as head of South Boston's merciless Winter Hill Gang.
After spending 16 years on the run, Bulger faces life in prison if convicted of top charges. His lawyers have described him as a minor criminal, not an underworld kingpin.
He agreed Friday to waive a forfeiture hearing for $822,000 and other items seized from his California hideout when he was arrested, meaning the jury won't have to decide if the government can keep the loot. Several victims' families who have won judgments against Bulger could lay claim to the money, but the judge hasn't decided where it will go.
NBC News' Alexandra Pournaras contributed to this report.