Pennsylvania mayor must face trial in race killing
YORK, Pennsylvania (CNN) -- A judge ruled Tuesday that a Pennsylvania mayor and five other white men must stand trial in the 1969 race riot shooting of a black woman, according to the York County Clerk of Courts.
York County Senior Judge Emanuel Cassimatis ordered Robertson and his co-defendants to stand trial for the death of Lillie Belle Allen, 27, a mother of two who died in a hail of bullets after her family car accidentally strayed into a white neighborhood on the night of July 21, 1969.
Robertson, 67, a popular two-term Democrat, was a city police officer when Allen was killed.
He was arrested in May and charged with murder as an "accessory before the fact," in part for allegedly handing out ammunition shortly before Allen was killed. The mayor denies the charges and has refused to step down despite calls for his resignation.
Tuesday's ruling followed a four-day hearing. The six defendants were scheduled to be arraigned July 23.
In all, nine men were charged in the case, eight of whom are accused of shooting at the car in which Allen was riding. Three defendants waived their right to a preliminary hearing last week in exchange for light sentences; two testified for the prosecution during the hearing.
The riots, which lasted 10 days, began after a white gang member shot and wounded a young black man in the city 85 miles west of Philadelphia. Allen was gunned down by a white mob on the fourth night of racial disturbances.
Henry Schaad, a white rookie police officer, was also killed in the riots. More than 60 people were injured, 100 were arrested and entire city blocks were burned.
The same grand jury that recommended indictments in the Allen case is also investigating Schaad's killing.
|Back to the top|