AP – Posted: 09/29/2014 12:55 pm EDT Updated: 09/29/2014 12:59 pm
A man convicted in the shooting death of a New Jersey state trooper in a crime that still provokes strong emotion among law enforcement more than 40 years later was ordered released on parole by a state appeals court Monday.
Sundiata Acoli was known as Clark Edward Squire when he was convicted of the 1973 slaying of state trooper Werner Foerster during a stop on the New Jersey Turnpike. Now in his mid-70s, he was denied parole most recently in 2011, but the appellate judges reversed that ruling Monday.
In a 28-page opinion, the panel wrote that the parole board ignored evidence favorable to Acoli and gave undue consideration to past events such as a probation violation that occurred decades earlier.
One of the three people in the car when it was stopped was Joanne Chesimard, who also was convicted of Foerster’s slaying, but eventually escaped to Cuba and is now known as Assata Shakur. Last year, state and federal authorities announced a $2 million reward for information leading to her capture, and the FBI made her the first woman on its list of most wanted terrorist.
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