Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Last SLA inmate cleared to serve parole


Last SLA inmate cleared to serve parole in Ill.
By DON THOMPSON

Associated Press Writer

3:37 PM CDT, April 28, 2009

SACRAMENTO

The last imprisoned member of the 1970s-era Symbionese Liberation Army has been cleared to serve his parole in Illinois after his release next month from a California prison, corrections officials said Tuesday.

James Kilgore, 61, is completing a six-year sentence at High Desert State Prison in Susanville for his role in the murder of Myrna Opsahl, a mother of four who was killed during a 1975 bank robbery in Carmichael, a Sacramento suburb.

California corrections spokeswoman Terry Thornton said Illinois authorities have agreed to supervise Kilgore for a year. Federal authorities also have approved his transfer to Illinois to serve his supervision for a federal term he completed after being convicted of charges related to his years with the SLA and fleeing the country.

Another SLA fugitive, Sara Jane Olson, was released from prison last month and allowed to return to her home in St. Paul, Minn.

The Symbionese Liberation Army was a band of radicals from mostly middle class backgrounds that sought to foment revolution and overthrow the government. It is best known for the 1974 kidnapping of newspaper heiress Patricia Hearst but also was responsible for assassinating Oakland Schools Superintendent Marcus Foster and was involved in a shootout with Los Angeles police officers that killed five SLA members.

Kilgore's wife moved to Illinois after her husband was arrested in 2002 in Cape Town, South Africa, after nearly three decades on the run. She is an associate professor of gender and women's studies at the University of Illinois in Champaign.

During his years on the run, Kilgore became a University of Cape Town professor under the alias of Charles William Pape.

He served his state prison term after completing a 54-month federal prison sentence for using a deceased baby's birth certificate to obtain a passport in Seattle and for possession of a pipe bomb that federal authorities said they found in his Daly City apartment in 1975.

Also Tuesday, the Los Angeles City Council approved a resolution opposing Kilgore's transfer out of state.

The Los Angeles Police Protective League and the National Association of Police Organizations objected. The groups lobbied California and Illinois officials to deny his request.

"This is where he committed his crimes," the league's president, Paul Weber, said in a statement. "Kilgore would be better monitored in California during his parole because the state has a stronger interest in the case."

Kilgore's attorney, Louis Freeman of New York City, did not immediately return a telephone message Tuesday.

Source URL:
http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/chi-ap-ca-sla-kilgore,0,6112125.story

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