Eight men charged in 1971 police officer's murder
Photos by Luke
By Ari Burak
December 4, 2007
Nearly a year after being charged, eight former members of a
militant black organization accused in connection with the 1971
killing of a San Francisco police officer are set to enter pleas
in the case next month, their attorneys said Monday in San Francisco
State prosecutors in January charged Richard Brown, of San Francisco;
Ray Boudreaux and Henry Jones, of Altadena; Herman Bell and Anthony
Bottom, both in custody in New York; Francisco Torres, of Queens,
N.Y.; and Harold Taylor, of Panama City, Fla. with the murder
of Sgt. John Young on Aug. 29, 1971.
All seven men are also facing charges of conspiracy to murder
police officers for the attempted murder of four officers, the
bombing of a police officer's funeral, the murder of two New York
City police officers, the attempted bombing of the Mission police
station and three armed bank robberies, all between 1968 and 1973,
according to authorities.
An eighth man, Richard O'Neal, of San Francisco, is also charged
with conspiracy to murder police officers but was not charged
as an active participant in Young's murder.
Young, 22, was working at San Francisco's Ingleside station that
night when two men entered the station, stuck a shotgun through
the hole in the protective glass and fatally shot him.
Following the spirited chanting of "Free the San Francisco
Eight" outside the courthouse Monday morning, dozens of their
supporters crowded the courtroom to listen to the proceedings.
The defendants, all former Black Liberation Army members who
now range in ages from their mid-50s to early 70s, listened as
a judge heard motions by their attorneys to compel the release
of further evidence in the case.
All except Bell and Bottom remain out of custody after posting
bail earlier this year.
Attorneys agreed to return on Jan. 10 for the eight men to enter
An April 21 date was tentatively scheduled for a preliminary
hearing, when a judge will determine if there is sufficient evidence
for the men to stand trial.
Special Assistant Attorney General David Druliner estimated Monday
that the preliminary hearing itself could last six months. A possible
trial may not come until early 2009, he said.
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