SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Prosecutors have dismissed murder charges against four alleged ex-members of the Black Liberation Army accused of killing a San Francisco police officer in 1971.
The charges were dismissed Monday against Henry Jones, Ray Boudreaux, Richard Brown and Harold Taylor in the killing of Sgt. John V. Young during an attack on San Francisco's Ingleside police station. Attorney General Jerry Brown's office, who took over the four decade old case, did not say why charges were dropped.
Another defendant, Anthony Bottom, pleaded no contest Monday to conspiracy to commit voluntary manslaughter in Young's death as part of a deal with prosecutors. Bottom is already serving a life sentence for the murder of two New York City police officers.
Only one of the seven original defendants in the case -- Francisco Torres of New York -- is now left to stand trial for Young's murder. Prosecutors say they have the man's fingerprint on a cigarette lighter found outside the police station on the night of Young's murder.
The men were alleged to be members of the Black Liberation Army, an offshoot of the Black Panther Party, which authorities say was responsible for bank robberies, bombings and a national campaign to target law enforcement.
The case was reopened and charges brought against the seven men in 2007, disrupting six of the men's normal lives since that violent period in American history.