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Final Arguments in Appeal by Pratt Delayed

Elmer “Geronimo” Pratt, the former Black Panther Party leader convicted of murder in 1972, will have to wait a little longer to get the justice he says was denied 25 years ago.

Santa Ana Superior Court Judge Everett W. Dickey said he will wait until March 13 to hear final arguments in Pratt’s bid to overturn his conviction because Los Angeles prosecutor Brentford Ferreira has not returned to work following a minor stroke two weeks ago. Pratt was found guilty of shooting to death schoolteacher Caroline Olsen during a 1968 Santa Monica robbery.

Closing arguments were scheduled to be heard today.

This is Pratt’s fifth attempt to convince a judge that the case against him was built on the false testimony of a central prosecution witness, Julius C. “Julio” Butler, who said in court that Pratt had confessed to the shooting.

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