Life sentence reaffirmed in 1970 killing of city police officer

October 13, 2004

For the second time in two years, a Baltimore Circuit Court judge reaffirmed yesterday the life sentence of a Black Panther member convicted in the 1970 killing of a city police officer.

Jack Ivory Johnson Jr. was granted a new sentencing hearing in 2002 because of a technical error during his original hearing. Police officers, including then-Commissioner Edward T. Norris, packed the hearing and argued that Johnson should remain in prison. Circuit Judge John M. Glynn agreed and re-imposed a sentence of life plus 15 years.

Johnson's attorney's appealed, arguing that Norris and other officers should not have been allowed to testify. So Johnson received a new hearing yesterday, and Glynn imposed the same sentence, prosecutors said.

Johnson, 55, and two other Black Panther members ambushed and repeatedly shot Donald T. Sager as he sat in his patrol car in West Baltimore. Another officer was wounded, but survived.

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