A preliminary hearing for seven men accused of gunning down a San Francisco police officer is scheduled to begin after 38 long years.
The Monday hearing is related to murder charges filed against seven defendants who prosecutors say were members of the Black Liberation Army, a violent offshoot of the Black Panthers. They are accused of a 1971 attack on the Ingleside Police Station that killed Sgt. John V. Young.
After years with no new leads, police say they found a defendant's fingerprint on a lighter, and that a former BLA member was convinced to testify.
Two of the defendants, Anthony Bottom and Herman Bell, were convicted of murdering two New York City police officers before Young's murder, and are currently serving prison sentences. Bell's attorney Stuart Hanlon says defense attorneys will argue their clients cannot get a fair trial because too much time has passed.
The other defendants are Ray Boudreaux, Henry W. Jones, Richard Brown, Harold Taylor and Francisco Torres.