Black Panther Offers Guilty Kidnap Plea in 1984 Hijacking

Tuesday, 29 Apr 2014 05:09 PM

 

  Comment  |
   Contact  |
  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.

  Comment  |
   Contact  |
  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:
Country
Zip Code:
Privacy: We never share your email.
 
Hot Topics
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
Top Stories
You May Also Like

Poll: Most Americans Disapprove of Executive Amnesty Action

Wednesday, 26 Nov 2014 09:47 AM

A majority of Americans feel that President Barack Obama badly handled the way he gave amnesty to millions of illegal im . . .

Stephen Halbrook: Gun Control Measures Hazardous for Citizens

Wednesday, 26 Nov 2014 08:52 AM

Nazis disarmed the Social Democrats and other political opponents whom they deemed “enemies of the state.” The turn of t . . .

Dick Morris: Amnesty, Obamacare Will Eat Up Blue-Collar Jobs

Wednesday, 26 Nov 2014 08:50 AM

President Obama's amnesty for millions of illegal immigrants will result in "a disaster of unparalleled magnitude" due t . . .

Most Commented

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

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