---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Fri, 18 Jan 2002 18:30:45 -0800
From: radtimes <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Former SLA Fugitive Sentenced to 20 Years to Life
Former SLA Fugitive Sentenced to 20 Years to Life
in Prison for 1975 Bomb Plot Against Police; Three Former SLA Members
Arraigned on Murder Charges in Robbery, Another Fights Extradition.
AP. 18 January 2002.
LOS ANGELES and SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- With tears flowing from her family
and friends, '70s radical-turned-suburban mother Sara Jane Olson was
sentenced Friday to 20 years to life in prison for plotting to blow up a
pair of Los Angeles police cars 27 years ago.
A few moments later, Olson pleaded innocent to murder and robbery
charges in a deadly 1975 bank holdup that prosecutors also blame on
members of the Symbionese Liberation Army. Bail was set at $1 million,
but the move was symbolic because Olson is headed for prison.
Before she was sentenced, Olson offered her first public statement of
contrition, telling the judge, her family and others in the courtroom:
"Forgive me for the pain I've brought you."
But she denied trying to murder police officers by planting the bombs, a
plot prosecutors said was intended to avenge the deaths of six SLA
members during a shootout with authorities in 1974. The bombs didn't
Graying and settled into middle age, three former members of the radical
Symbionese Liberation Army were arraigned Friday on first-degree murder
charges in the 1975 shooting death of a woman during a bank robbery.
A fourth fought extradition hearings to bring him to California to face
Sara Jane Olson, Emily Harris, William Harris and Michael Bortin faced
judges and prosecutors nearly 30 years after a bank robbery that left
Myrna Opsahl, a 42-year-old mother of four, dead from a shotgun blast.
In Sacramento, the Harrises did not enter pleas Friday. They are
scheduled to do so Feb. 1.
"They are not guilty," said Stuart Hanlon, Emily Harris's attorney.
In Portland, Ore., Bortin, 53, a flooring contractor, said he would
fight extradition to California because he is not a fugitive.
"I've been a legal resident here for all of 12 and a half years. I have
my own business here, family, four kids," he told a Multnomah County
James Kilgore, 54, a fifth former SLA member charged with Opsahl's
murder, has been a fugitive since the 1970s.
The SLA gained notoriety after kidnapping the then-19-year-old newspaper
heiress Patricia Hearst, now a 48-year-old mother of three.
In a 1976 interview with the FBI, and later in her 1982 book, "Every
Secret Thing," Hearst said Emily Harris shot Opsahl during the bank
robbery. Hearst is expected to be the lead witness in the case.
"Patty Hearst is the only person who can make this case," Hanlon said.
"The jury will decide if Patty Hearst's book is truth or fantasy."
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