A desperate attempt to free three convicts at a trial in San Rafael, California, yesterday (Friday) resulted in the death of the Judge and three other men.
GV Crowd around vehicle outside courtroom
CU Damaged windscreen
CU Shoes in road
CU Vehicle being examined
SV Body in truck
MV Assistant District Attorney Gary Thomas on stretcher and from ambulance into hospital.
SV Priest arrives and enters
SV Woman wheeled into hospital.
Convict Ruchell Magee wheeled along hospital corridor and into lift
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Background: A desperate attempt to free three convicts at a trial in San Rafael, California, yesterday (Friday) resulted in the death of the Judge and three other men.
Superior Court Judge Harold Haley, 65, was presiding at Marin County Courthouse over the trial of James McClain, 37, a convict from nearby San Quentin prison, who was charged with stabbing a guard. Two fellow prisoners, William Christmas, 27, and Ruchell Magee, were in court to give evidence in his defence.
Witnesses said that as the trial was in progress, a young negro-- later identified as 17-year old Jonathan Jackson--suddenly stood up with a gun and distributed arms to the convicts.
Then the three convicts and their accomplice took the Judge, a prosecutor and three women jurors into a van outside the court as hostages.
But their getaway was foiled as they moved away in the van. A hail of shots from prison guards, San Rafael police and sheriff's officers left two of the convicts and the accomplice dead. The Judge was found in the back of the van, apparently killed by a blast from a shotgun.
Critically wounded in the incident were 32-year-old Assistant District Attorney Gary Thomas, held as a hostage, and the convict Ruchell Magee. One of the women jurors was also injured.
A police spokesman, Inspector Ronald Retana, said today (Saturday) that a tape recording of the violent scene indicated that 13 shots were fired altogether. There were half a dozen bullet holes in the side of the van which could have come from outside gunfire.
Assistant District Attorney Thomas, who is suffering from spinal wounds, claimed to have shot McClain, Christmas and Jackson.