[Pnews] Fifty years ago, April 17, 1971: Omaha Two sentenced to life in prison at COINTELPRO corrupted trial

Prisoner News ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Sat Apr 17 11:22:57 EDT 2021

years ago, April 17, 1971: Omaha Two sentenced to life in prison at
COINTELPRO corrupted trialMichael Richardson - April 17, 2021
Edward Poindexter and David Rice (later Wopashitwe Mondo Eyen we Langa)
were convicted of murder in a COINTELPRO corrupted trial. (credits: Omaha
Police Department)

Fifty years ago, April 17, 1971, Edward Poindexter
and David Rice
(later Wopashitwe Mondo Eyen we Langa
were convicted of murdering Omaha Patrolman Larry Minard
and sentenced to life in prison. No one on the jury knew that the two week
trial had been manipulated by Federal Bureau of Investigation agents
working under a clandestine counterintelligence operation code-named

The jurors, who had deliberated for nearly twenty-five hours over a three
day period, took their seats in the jury box. Judge Donald Hamilton asked
the jury if a verdict had been reached. The court clerk read the decision
of guilty with life sentences, first for Poindexter then for Mondo.
Hamilton ordered the two defendants taken to the Nebraska State
Penitentiary to serve their sentences “at hard labor.”

Mondo said in a short interview following the verdict that he “did not get
a fair trial” calling the case against him a “maze of conjectures.” Mondo
criticized the *Omaha World Herald *and local radio and television stations
for slanting “towards the prosecution” in news broadcasts.

“I’m not going down to the state pen and say everything is beautiful. going
to fight it and I’m going to go back onto the streets and do the same
things, speaking out against the evils of the system which got me

Ed Poindexter cursed when asked if he wished to be interviewed and he was
led away without making a statement.

Within an hour after the jury found them guilty, Mondo and Poindexter where
taken from the Douglas County Jail where they had been held since August
1970 and transported to prison in Lincoln to begin serving life sentences
at the Nebraska State Penitentiary. The two men were shackled and each
taken in separate cars.

Following the trial, the jury foreman whom Poindexter accused of sleeping
during the trial, Myron Widger, Jr., was asked what took the jury so long
to reach a verdict. “There were a lot of little things.”

Widger said the jury agreed they would not discuss details of the

If Poindexter had given a statement about his trial, it is likely he would
have complained about his defense attorneys. In letters from prison,
Poindexter outlined some of the mistakes made by his lawyers. “There was
ineffective assistance of counsel at the trial by failure to interview six
potential witnesses with exculpatory information.

“George McCline said he had knowledge of who committed the crime and where
the dynamite used was stored. Tyrone Stearns said he knew the source of the
dynamite used in the crime.”

“Richard Gibson had information regarding who killed the policeman. Anthony
Sanders had knowledge of two white men holding bomb making classes in the

“Patrick Jones had information regarding who sold the dynamite to the
individual who planted the bomb that killed the policeman. Finally, an
“unnamed informant” tipped police that a black male was selling dynamite.”

“The attorneys failed to vigorously pursue Donald Peak’s testimony
concerning the contents of Duane’s suitcase.”

“There was the failure to vigorously pursue a valuable lead in a Social
Security card found at the crime scene belonging to Johnny Lee Bussby.”

“Counsel called Robert Cecil to the stand, asked a few questions and
excused him without asking him how he got dynamite particles all over his

“There was failure to at least enter an objection into the record for
allowing a sleeping juror to remain on the jury, but wearing a pair of

“The jury foreman slept all throughout the trial, I complained to the
lawyers, they took a short recess, then returned with the man wearing
sunglasses for the rest of the trial as he continued sleeping.”

“Raleigh House was implicated by Duane Peak, but the state did not pursue
it because they were after only Mondo and myself, the so-called
ringleaders. Selective prosecution is the term for that. Robert Cecil was
found to have had dynamite particles all over his hands, but the state
never pursued him.”

“Also note that he was not even asked any questions related to the dynamite
particles found on his hands during his testimony at the trial, not by the
prosecution or defense.”

“The state also always knew Duane did not make that 911 call, but did not
care who really made it because they were only after Mondo and myself.”

Mondo had more criticism of the trial. “Regarding the testimony of Duane
Peak, from the time he was arrested to the time of the trial, Duane Peak
gave a minimum of six different versions of the plan to “off a pig”. Of all
these versions, only one, which he gave at the trial, implicated me as
having anything to do with the death of Minard.”

“How can a witness tell even two different stories and one of them not be a
lie? Duane Peak told a minimum of six. Duane Peak is a perjurer.”

“All of Duane Peak’s testimony linking me to the blowing up of Minard was
negated by witnesses for the defense, two of them his own cousins.”

“I don’t believe he acted on his own. But I did not use him. I did not put
his life in jeopardy.”

“The prosecution claimed a piece of copper wire was found at the “scene of
the bombing,” that markings on this wire were compared in a lab to markings
left on a piece of lead cut by pliers found in my house. The wire wasn’t
actually found at the scene of the bombing but in the basement of the house
next door, about three feet from a tool bench.”

“The only copper wire testified to as being used in the bombing was that
from the blasting caps. That wire was a half to two-thirds smaller in
diameter than the wire found at the house next door to the bombing.”

“There are all kinds of things about the case that are really pretty basic
and pretty outrageous that are part of the record that people don’t know

Mondo died in March 2016 at the Nebraska State Penitentiary. Poindexter
remains imprisoned at the maximum security prison, a half-century later,
where he continues to maintain his innocence. Poindexter, in poor health
and at risk from the Covid virus, has a pending commutation of sentence
<https://www.facebook.com/freedom4ed/> request with the Nebraska Pardon
Board but the Board refuses to set a hearing date.

The FBI Laboratory withheld a report
on the identity of the anonymous 911 caller that lured Larry Minard to his
bombing death in a vacant house in order to obtain a conviction of
Poindexter and Mondo who were leaders of Omaha’s Black Panther Party
affiliate chapter. Operation COINTELPRO was terminated by FBI director J.
Edgar Hoover a week after the Omaha Two were convicted.

Justice remains undone.

*This article is excerpted from *FRAMED: J. Edgar Hoover, COINTELPRO & the
Omaha Two story,* in print edition at *Amazon
and available in *ebook
Portions of the book may be read free online at *NorthOmahaHistory.com
*The book is also available to patrons of the *Omaha Public Library
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://freedomarchives.org/pipermail/ppnews_freedomarchives.org/attachments/20210417/f2df2ba2/attachment.html>

More information about the PPnews mailing list