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Attorney Considered for Role on Olson Defense Team

March 22, 2000

LOS ANGELES — The Superior Court judge in the Sara Jane Olson case on Tuesday said he would consider appointing attorney Shawn Chapman to the defense team--but only if she agrees to be ready for a trial in August.

Chapman, an associate in the case, would replace co-counsel Henry J. Hall, who bowed out after only a month. Because of Chapman's familiarity with the case, Superior Court Judge James M. Ideman said he would consider appointing Chapman although she is not on the list of lawyers approved by the court. But the judge firmly told defense attorney Susan Jordan that there will be no further delays in the trial.

"If Ms. Chapman wants to be appointed, she will have to be available on Aug. 14," Ideman said. If she doesn't agree, the judge said, he will appoint a lawyer who can be ready by then.

The trial, originally scheduled to begin this month, was postponed after defense attorney Stuart Hanlon left the case for family reasons.

Ideman also said he will loosen a gag order, after the lawyers submit proposed orders.

Olson, a sympathizer of the urban guerrilla group the Symbionese Liberation Army, was indicted in 1976 for allegedly conspiring to murder LAPD officers by planting nail-packed pipe bombs under two squad cars.

Olson was arrested in Minnesota in June after building a life as a wife, mother and churchgoing community activist during 23 years as a fugitive.

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