The Battalion. (College Station, Tex.) 1893-current, February 08, 1983, Image 1

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i 76 No. 92 USPS 045360 14 Pages College Station, Texas Tuesday, February 8, 1983 Jury acquits Chagra in Wood murder case United Press International JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — With two witnesses and a 12-minute defense, a Las Vegas lawyer left in shambles the government’s $11-million investiga tion into the killing of U.S. District Judge John Wood. A jury of 10 women and two men late Monday found Jamiel “Jimmy” Chagra innocent of masterminding the murder of the San Antonio judge known as “Maximum John” for the long sentences he meted out to drug offenders. Chagra was the principal target of an investigation the government said was the costliest since the assassina tion of President John F. Kennedy. The hitman in the case, Charles V. Harrelson, was convicted of the mur der in December. Chagra’s brother, Joe, pleaded guilty to conspiring with him in the killing; his wife was con victed of conspiracy to murder. “My brother was forced to lie,” Chagra said as he left the courthouse. But the jury — which was not allowed to hear about the previous convictions — apparently believed defender Oscar Goodman’s conten tion that Chagra’s tape-recorded statements that he engineered the killing were merely prison bragging. The Las Vegas gambler said he was thankful for two things — Goodman and the change of venue from San Antonio, granted due to the enor mous publicity generated by the case there. The government claimed Chagra had Wood killed on the day he was to appear before him in a drug smug gling case, fearing the length of the sentence he might receive. Chagra, 38, who already was serv ing a 30-year prison sentence for nar cotics and racketeering convictions, was found guilty of two lesser charges — conspiracy to obstruct justice and conspiracy to possess, with intent to distribute, 1,000 pounds of mari juana. Both charges surfaced largely from secretly taped conversations in which he discussed smuggling 1,000 pounds of marijuana into the country to finance an escape from Leaven worth prison. The jury spent nearly 20 hours over four days deliberating after a four-week trial. Chagra was indicted on charges he paid Harrelson $250,000 to kill Wood, who was slain with a high- powered rifle as he was getting into his car outside his San Antonio home May 29, 1979. Goodman, in his 12-minute de fense presentation and in his final arguments, attacked the credibility of Jerry Ray James, a “habitual criminal” serving time at Leavenworth who taped his conversations with Chagra. Goodman brought out that the government had promised James his release from prison and rewards of up to $250,000 if Chagra was con victed. He admitted that Chagra paid Har relson $250,000, but claimed his client was being blackmailed, and that all the incriminating statements gleaned by James were nothing but a new inmate wanting to look like a “tough guy.” U.S. District JutJge William H. Ses sions scheduled Chagra’s sentencing on the obstruction and marijuana counts for March 8 in San Antonio. That is the date Harrelson, Chagra’s wife and Harrelson’s wife also are set for sentencing. Chagra still faces another trial for federal income tax evasion involving alleged failure to declare gambling winnings between 1976 to 1979. That trial is scheduled for March 14. Soviet-made rockets fired at Mideast negotiation site aid 111 First safety precaution Students in Health Education 216 (First Aid) learn how to help save lives through cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). Leslie Hendricks, a junior physical education major from Corpus Christi, practices cleaning out a victim’s mouth on a dummy here. Students in the class will be learning CPR techniques during February. \ Soviet inally satellite down United Press International Two Soviet-made Katyusha rockets were fired from inside Beirut toward the site of the Israeli-Lebanese troop withdrawal talks in Khalde Monday, falling just off the coast from where the negotiators met, police said. The rocket attack coincided with new artillery battles between Christ ians and Moslems in the mountains east of Beirut that shattered an Israeli-mediated cease-fire only hours after it was announced. Police said the Katyusha rockets were fired from inside Beirut and landed in the sea off Khalde, where Israeli, U.S. and Lebanese nego tiators held their 13th session on troop withdrawals Monday without reporting progress. Beirut newspapers said Antoine Fattal, Lebanon’s chief negotiator and adviser to President Amin Gemayel, would continue to insist on a complete withdrawal of an esti mated 30,000 Israeli troops from Lebanon. Italian peacekeepers found two more Katyushas on a rack on the roof of a building in the southern Beirut suburb of Ouzai, police said. It was the second attack on the tpeeting site since the talks tuegan in December. On Jan. 24 an explosion occured only 400 yards from the hotel where the negotiators meet. The Lebanese army said it was a bomb, but Israel said it also was a Katyusha. In the Shouf-Aley mountains east of Beirut, artillery battles between Christians and Moslems resumed late Monday afternoon near Aley, a key town 10 miles southeast of Beirut which was overrun Sunday by Druze Moslems. Christian Phalange radio said mili tias from the Druze village of Aitat battled fighters from the Christian village of Souk-alGharb with all types of weapons, including artillery. The latest fighting came only hours after Brig. Gen. Amnon Lipkin, the Israeli commander of Aley, told re porters that Christian and Druze .leaders had. agreed to stop-carrying arms and exchange prisoners to end the bloodshed. He said if the cease-fire was not respected, “we will intervene.” Lipkin also told reporters his troops were in full control of Aley Monday after Sunday’s fighting. Aley’s capture by Druze militias Sunday was the first serious setback for Christian militias of the Lebanese Forces who moved into the predomi nantly Druze mountains after Israel invaded Lebanon June 6. Israeli forces have occupied the mountains since shortly after the invasion. Reporters Monday visiting Aley, a mostly Christian town of 10,000 peo ple, said it was deserted except for Druze militiamen. They said it was heavily damaged. Unconfirmed re ports said the town was hit by numer ous-artillery-baerages. In a statement published Monday by Beirut newspapers, the Druze said their forces captured Aley after driv ing “the last of the rightist (Christian) militiamen out of the town Sunday.” The Druze said 25 Phalangists were killed in the fighting. Beirut’s An Nahar reported 30 homes were burned and as many as 40 people were killed or wounded in the fighting. E. K)'l Rudde United Press International (WASHINGTON — The nuclear eaitor of a shattered Soviet spy satel- 3vaporized Monday as it re-entered f atmosphere over the South Atlan- ,100 miles east of Brazil, the Pen- Jon reported. The Pentagon also said U.S. father reconnaissance planes will beck the atmosphere in the area for m signs of increased levels of alflioactivity. A spokesman said sam- ptaken by the aircraft will be analy- cd later. NORAI) (the North American iir Defense Command) confirms the jfjmaining portion of Cosmos 1402 e--entered the atmosphere at appro- iinately 6:10 a.m. EST Monday, miles east of Brazil over the kjuth Atlantic,” said a Pentagon 0« statement that affirmed an earlier estimate that the debris broke up at 19 degrees south latitude, 22 degrees west longitude. A short time after the projected re entry time, Pentagon officials said, “We assume it has re-entered the atmosphere and burned harmlessly.” The largest part of Cosmos 1402 split from its nuclear reactor last month. The main section, weighing 3,000 to 4,000 pounds, fell in the In dian Ocean Jan. 23, about 1,000 miles from the nearest land. The radioac tive fragment, estimated to weigh ab out 1,000 pounds, circled Earth erra tically for 15 days before its orbit fin ally deteriorated. Cosmos 1402 was a maritime sur veillance satellite used to track the movements of ships, mainly those of the U.S. Navy. Judges to decide election question United Press International SAN ANTONIO —A U.S. District Court judge Monday deferred to a three-judge federal panel the ques tion of whether an election to fill a Texas congressional seat should pro ceed as scheduled on Saturday. Judge H.F. Garcia said the three- judge panel convenes at 9 a.m. today in Austin. Former Gov. Bill Clements called the election the day Gramm resigned his seat as a Democrat to seek re- election as a Republican in the 6th Congressional District. The election date has been chal lenged by the Texas Rural Legal Aid Society, which claims it violates the federal Voting Rights Act because it was not cleared ahead of time with the Justice Department. Gramm faces nine Democrats and one Libertarian in the special elec tion. inside Classified 8 local 3 National 8 opinions Sports 11 Slate* 6 that’s up 10 almanac United Press International Today is Tuesday, Feb. 8, the jjphday of 1983 with 326 to follow. Union Gen. William Sherman, Ifho put the torch to Atlanta dm - Big the Civil War, was born Feb. 8. ■820. Also born on this date were ■lm stars Lana Turner in 1921, lack Lemmon in 1925 and James Tean in 1931. | On this date in history: In 1587, Mary Queen of Scots [as beheaded after being charged [ith conspiring to murder Britain's )ueen Elizabeth I. forecast tartly cloudy and warmer today , or }|l; vith the high reaching 59. The Bands will be southeast at 5 to 10 iph. Partly cloudy tonight with a <nv around 45. Continued partly budy and warmer on Wednesday nth a high of 67. ’isi<V Black history must examine entire race, activist says by Donn Friedman Battalion Reporter Black people have been made to feel ashamed of themselves because they have been denied their heritage by historians, says black political activ ist Ron Wilkins. “When we talk black history, we’re talking about world history,” Wilkins said in a lecture Monday. “It doesn’t make sense to leave out the accom plishments of the black people.” Wilkins, speaking to a group of ab out 25 in a small room in Rudder Tower, said the leaders of the black liberation movement have been ignored at major universities — in cluding Texas A&M. Wilkins said blacks must overcome the myth that Africa is a wild land of jungles and savages and realize that it is a land of rich heritage. “The study of black history should not be a superficial study of indi vidual black achievers,” he said, “but rather should show the mass achieve ment of the black race as a whole.” Wilkins’ speech was the first in a series of four educational programs that will be presented by the MSC Black Awareness Committee during Black Awareness Month. It is ironic, Wilkins said, that the people with the longest history in the world picked the shortest month of the year, Febru- Black political activist Ron Wilkins ary, to celebrate their heritage. “When we talk of black history it is important that we do not just see it simply through black eyes, but we should see it through the (native) peo ple of this country,” Wilkins said. This country was built on stolen Indian land and the exploitation and enslavement of Africans brought to U.S. shores to develop this society, he said. “Blacks created the economic basis for this country to rise to power — we helped create the tools that are used to control us,” Wilkins said. “What better way to enslave a man than give him a vote and call him free,” he said, quoting the African philospher Camu. Blacks in America must become conscious of their oppressed state and become bitter, Wilkins said. “If a cat has kittens in an oven, do you call them biscuits?” he asked. “If an African woman has a baby in the United States, it is still an African.” Blacks in this country should over come their day-to-day existence and form a unified black consciousness, he said. The movement for black liberation — including increased awareness of African roots — has been linked by some to communism, he said. In the United States anything that goes against the mainstream is considered to be “red-baited,” he said. But the U.S. government offers no solutions, he said. “The United States political system is unredeemably corrupt,” he said. “The solution is international not loc al. Separation and integeration are false arguments. “The real question is power. Poli tical power is a small part. Blacks must strive for economic development if they are ever to rise from oppres sion.” staff photo by Octavio Garcia It almost looks like surfing There’s more than one way to go down the stairs at Zachry Engineering Center, as Allen Heath, a junior electrical engineering major from Longview, demonstrates. He rides his skateboard in between classes for relaxation.