Conspiracy charges dropped but murder is still on the table
By André Coleman
On Jan. 23, 2007, Los Angeles County Sheriff's deputies working with
the FBI arrested Henry Jones, 71, and Ray Michael Boudreaux, 64, two
members of the once-radical Black Liberation Army, an offshoot of the
Black Panthers, who were living relatively peaceful lives in Altadena.
The two men were later transferred to San Francisco, where they were
taken into custody along with six other men in connection with the
murder of 51-year-old Sgt. John V. Young, a 22-year police veteran
killed on Aug. 19, 1971, just as the war between police and the Black
Panthers in major cities around the country was coming to a head.
In the 1971 incident, four men stormed the Ingleside Police Station
in San Francisco and fired a shotgun blast through a small opening in
a bulletproof window, killing Young and wounding a civilian clerk.
Although both Jones and Boudreaux were initially charged in the
killing only to have those charges dismissed after a judge ruled
the two were tortured under interrogation authorities now claim
Jones was present during Young's shooting and that Boudreaux drove
the getaway car for the Ingleside killers.
In September, Jones and Boudreaux were released on bail. Last month a
judge ruled that the three-year statute of limitations had expired on
conspiracy charges connected to the 1971 murder.
However, Jones, Boudreaux and six other men now collectively known
in some circles as the San Francisco 8 still face murder charges
in relation to Young's death.
A preliminary hearing is scheduled for April 21. If prosecutors can
establish cause to proceed to trial, that may be scheduled in early 2009.
On Jan. 25 two days after their arrests in Altadena law
enforcement officials claimed that shotgun shells and a fingerprint
on a cigarette lighter left at the scene of the crime led to the
recent arrests, according to the San Francisco police Web site.
Jones, who police say was present during Young's shooting, and
Boudreaux, who authorities believe drove the getaway car for the
Ingleside killers, were arrested in Los Angeles in September of 1971
in relation to what authorities called a shootout. Those charges were
later dropped, however. Jones and Boudreaux moved out of California
but were arrested in Georgia on suspicion of attempted bank robbery
in 1975. By that time, largely because of their known affiliations
with the BLA, they had also become prime suspects in Young's murder,
and the pair was extradited to San Francisco to stand trial.
Charges were dropped after Superior Court Judge Edward Cragen ruled
that the two men were denied due process and tortured while being
interrogated by San Francisco police. Charges against three other BLA
members were also dropped at that time.