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Pennsylvania mayor, charged in 1969 death, appears in court

YORK, Pennsylvania (CNN) -- Promising he will "stay the mayor," Mayor Charlie Robertson surrendered at district court Thursday morning to face murder charges in the death of a black woman during the city's race riots in 1969.

Robertson, who is white, was emotional in court, with tears streaming down his face. He's being charged with criminal homicide in connection with Lillie Belle Allen's shooting death.

At the time of the shooting, Robertson was a York police officer and admits he made racist comments the day before Allen was killed, yelling "white power" at a rally.

Read the charges against Robertson (FindLaw)(PDF)
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Court papers say Robertson, now 67, incited white street gang members to violence and gave them ammunition.

Allen was visiting York from South Carolina when she was gunned down in a neighborhood frequented by white gang members.

Robertson has contended all along that he had nothing to do with Allen's death. Five others, including four former gang members, have been charged with her death.

Robertson's arrest comes just two days after the two-term mayor won the Democratic nomination for a potential third term. He has said he will not step down from his post and promised to keep campaigning.

"I am the mayor. I will stay the mayor," Robertson said.


• City of York, Pennsylvania

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