Organization Accused In 1971 Killing Of SF Police Officer
February 7, 2008
SAN FRANCISCO -- A San Francisco Superior Court judge said Thursday
he will consider whether conspiracy charges should be dropped against
three of seven former members of a militant black organization
accused in connection with the 1971 killing of a San Francisco police officer.
Attorneys for the so-called "San Francisco Eight" - now seven, after
charges January were dropped against one of the defendants - asked
Judge Philip Moscone Thursday to eliminate conspiracy to murder
charges against Herman Bell, 60, and Jalil Bottom, 56, who remain in
custody, and Francisco Torres, 59, of Queens, N.Y.
The three men, as well as Richard Brown, 67, of San Francisco, Ray
Boudreaux, 65, and Henry Jones, 72, both of Altadena, and Harold
Taylor, 59, of Panama City, Fla., all former members of the Black
Liberation Army, remain charged with the murder of Sgt. John Young on
Aug. 29, 1971.
Officials said Young, 22, was working at the San Francisco Police
Department's Ingleside station that night when two men entered the
station, and one stuck a shotgun through the hole in the protective
glass and fatally shot him.
All seven men were charged by the state attorney general's office in
January 2007 with murder and conspiracy to murder police officers,
both for the killing of Young as well for a series of crimes that
took place between 1968 and 1973, including the attempted murder of
four police 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.
This January, the conspiracy charges were dropped against Brown,
Boudreaux, Jones, Taylor, and an eighth man, Richard O'Neal, of San
Francisco, because of a three-year statute of limitations that was in
effect for the conspiracy to murder charge at the time of the crimes.
O'Neal faces no further prosecution, as he was only charged with conspiracy.
There is no statute of limitations in California for murder charges.
Attorneys for Bell, Bottom and Torres today argued for similar
conspiracy dismissals for their clients.
Moscone said he would review the matter and issue a written decision
at a later date.
The case is currently scheduled for an April 21 preliminary hearing,
which could last up to six months, according to prosecutors. A
possible trial may not come until early 2009.