Ex-Black Panther pleads guilty to kidnapping in 1984 hijacking

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla., (Reuters) – A former Black Panther, who returned voluntarily to the United States nearly 30 years after he hijacked a plane to Cuba, pleaded guilty to kidnapping yesterday to avoid a more serious charge of air piracy and a minimum 20-year sentence, his lawyer said.

William Potts, 57, initially pleaded not guilty to charges of air piracy and kidnapping. He arrived in the United States in November to face federal charges after serving 13 years in a Cuban prison.

Potts told reporters before he left Havana he was seeking “closure,” and hoped to persuade U.S. prosecutors to take into consideration the time he served in a Cuban prison.


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