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Twenty-three Weathermen arrested Tuesday night in raids by the Cambridge police pleaded not guilty yesterday to charges of conspiracy to attempt murder. They face a hearing on probable cause on the charges on November 28 in Cambridge's Third District Court.
The charges stem from an incident on November 8, in which two bullets were fired through a window of the Cambridge police station.
On Tuesday afternoon the police arrested a juvenile in connection with that incident. The juvenile, who had been living with the Weathermen, told the police that he had witnessed the Weathermen planning and executing the shooting. The raids came that night.
In addition to the conspiracy charges, James Reeves and James Kilpatrick have been charged with promotion of anarchy-a rarely-used accusation-and with assault with intent to commit murder, Reeves with receiving stolen goods (a rifle allegedly taken in Washington last weekend), and Jill H. Wattenburg with possession of a firearm without identification.
Judge Edward M. Viola of Third District Court, after hearing the not guilty pleas yesterday, set bail of $2000 for Reeves, $1500 for Kilpatrick, and $500 for each of the other 21 Weathermen. The 14 men in the group spent last night at the Middlesex County Jail in Billerica, the nine women at the Charles Street Jail.
Warrants also have been issued for Eric M. Mann, a local Weatherman leader who was not arrested Tuesday night, Mann is charged with conspiracy to attempt murder, promotion of anarchy, and assault with intent to commit murder.
The probable cause hearing will determine in effect whether the Middlesex County Grand Jury will hear the case. The maximum sentences in Massachusetts for conspiracy to attempt murder and for assault with intent to commit murder are 20 years in prison. The maximum penalty for promotion of anarchy is three years.
The 23 Weathermen entered the courtroom yesterday with clenched fists. Several young spectators returned the salute before Viola told all to stop.
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