Black Panther Offers Guilty Kidnap Plea in 1984 Hijacking

Tuesday, 29 Apr 2014 05:09 PM

 

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
|  A   A  
  Copy Shortlink
A former Black Panther who returned to the United States nearly 30 years after he hijacked a plane to Cuba is offering to plead guilty to kidnapping, to avoid a more serious charge of air piracy, his lawyer said on Tuesday.

William Potts, 57, initially pleaded not guilty to charges of air piracy and kidnapping. He arrived in the United States in November to face justice after serving 13 years in a Cuban prison. He is seeking credit for the time served.

Federal prosecutors on Tuesday heard details of the offer during a hearing in a federal court in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Attorneys from both sides will discuss the potential agreement during a hearing on Thursday.

His lawyer, Robert Berube, said in an interview the air piracy charge carried a mandatory 20-year minimum sentence. "Kidnapping is punishable by zero to life, so the judge will have full discretion," said Berube.

Potts hijacked a Piedmont Airlines flight in 1984 and demanded it be flown from Florida to Havana. He was arrested when the plane arrived in the Cuban capital and charged with air piracy.

Potts, also known by the aliases William Freeman and Lieutenant Spartacus, said he thought he would be welcomed in Cuba but was instead put on trial and convicted.

After his release Potts received residency in Cuba, got married and fathered two daughters, who have lived in the United States since 2012.

He is thought to be one of the last of more than a dozen members of the Black Panthers, a black nationalist group, living in Cuba. Others have returned home to face long prison terms or died.

Cuba has regularly returned U.S. fugitives since 2006, but the U.S. government says dozens remain in the Caribbean country.

© 2014 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
  Copy Shortlink
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
Email:
Retype Email:
Country
Zip Code:
 
Hot Topics
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
You May Also Like

Hollywood's Own Horror Show: Summer Movie Season Worst in Years

Thursday, 24 Jul 2014 13:44 PM

Hollywood studios are in a state of near-financial panic over the dismal performance of American-made films this summer. . . .

Supreme Court Likely to Deal With Obamacare Subsidies Next Year

Thursday, 24 Jul 2014 11:56 AM

With the White House and most of official Washington still reeling from the back-to-back contradictory Obamacare rulings . . .

Two-hour Arizona Execution Sparks Calls for Rethink on Death Penalty

Thursday, 24 Jul 2014 11:22 AM

Lawyers for a double-murderer whose lethal injection in Arizona dragged on for two hours called for an outside review of . . .

Most Commented

Newsmax, Moneynews, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, NewsmaxWorld, NewsmaxHealth, are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

 
NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved