Six accused of decades-old militancy appear in
By Brent Begin, Bay City News Service
March 13, 2007
SAN FRANCISCO (BCN) - Six people, allegedly former members
of the Black Liberation Army, have now been arraigned in San Francisco
on charges stemming back over three decades ago.
Five of the men are charged with the murder of Sgt. John Young
at the Ingleside Police Station on Aug. 29, 1971. A sixth man
has not been charged with the murder but is being tried with the
others on conspiracy charges.
Support for the men continues to grow, as a host of people wearing
buttons that read, "Free the SF 8," filed into the courtroom.
Judge Donna Alyson Little had warned the crowd at a previous hearing
to stay silent or be banished from her courtroom. At today's hearing,
there were no disturbances.
None of the men have entered pleas because lawyers are attempting
to have the case thrown out claiming the charges are unfounded
and they have been too long in coming.
Francisco Torres, who arrived from New York, made his first appearance
in San Francisco Superior Court today, and Harold Taylor, out
of Florida, was arraigned earlier this month.
Ray Michael Boudreaux, 64, Richard Brown, 65, and Henry Jones,
71, are charged with Young's murder as well. Richard O'Neal, 57,
is charged with conspiracy. All the men are being held on $3 million
Also charged in the case are Herman Bell, 59, Anthony Bottom,
55, and Ronald Stanley Bridgeforth, 62. Bridgeforth is currently
at large while the other two men are being held in New York for
killing another police officer.
Lawyers had also planned to argue for shackles to be taken off
the defendants when they appear. That hearing, along with a motion
to lower bail, will have to wait until the case finds a permanent
John Phillipsborn, who represents Henry "Hank" Jones,
said outside the courtroom that the men are not high security
"They have conducted themselves with great dignity in the
courtroom," Philipsborn said. "My client has been involved
in court proceedings for the past two and a half years, and so
we're asking that he be treated like anyone else and be taken
into the court without shackles."
State prosecutors have objected because of the "cold-blooded
military-style" nature of the crime.
Another hearing is scheduled for April 27 at 1:30 p.m. in department
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