Ex-radical Olson pleads guilty to 2 bomb counts
LOS ANGELES, California -- Alleged former Symbionese Liberation Army member Sara Jane Olson pleaded guilty Wednesday to two counts of possessing bombs with intent to kill Los Angeles police officers.
"That means she'll serve about three years in prison," said her attorney, Shawn Snyder Chapman. "It's sad to think of her serving any time, but had she gone to trial there was a possibility that she could be sentenced to life. The stakes were too high to take that chance."
Currently free on $1 million bail, Olson -- who was named in the indictment by her real name, Kathleen Soliah -- was charged with planting bombs under patrol cars in 1975, in an attempt to murder Los Angeles police officers. The action allegedly was in retaliation for the deaths of six SLA members in a police shootout earlier that year.
After the plea was announced, Olson said the September 11 terrorist attacks greatly influenced her decision to make a deal.
"It became clear to me that the incident would have a remarkable effect on the outcome of this trial and I think that it's unfortunate, but the effect was probably going to be negative," she said.
Olson will be sentenced December 7 but won't begin serving her term until January 18, Chapman said.
"She'd like to stay out of custody as long as possible," Chapman said, "and spend some time with her family over the holidays."
Chapman said she is making arrangements for Olson to serve her time in Minnesota to be near her family. Olson is married with three children.
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