6 06-15-87 04:33 ped
(1grafld; picksup2ndgraf: u.s. district _ rewording) By ROBERT
SAN FRANCISCO (UPI) _ A federal judge Monday revoked $250,000
bail for Peoples Temple cult survivor Larry Layton because he
perjured himself and ordered him to begin serving a life sentence
for conspiracy to commit murder.
U.S. District Judge Robert F. Peckham issued the ruling on a
motion to revoke bail filed by U.S. Attorney Joseph Russoniello
after Peckham ruled recently that Layton perjured himself at a
"We do not take lightly willful perjury in this court,"
Layton quietly handed over his keys and wallet to his lawyer,
Robert Bryan, and left the courtroom with a U.S. marshal. Bryan
said he was not surprised by the ruling and had advised Layton
that revocation was likely.
Layton, 41, had been free on bail pending an appeal of his
Dec. 1 conviction on charges of conspiring to kill Rep. Leo
Ryan, D-Calif., and diplomat Richard Dwyer on Nov. 18, 1978, at a
Guyana airstrip near the Jonestown cult settlement in northeast
Ryan was fatally shot, Dwyer was wounded and within hours
Peoples Temple leader Jim Jones and 912 of his followers died in
Layton was convicted on two counts of murder conspiracy and
two counts of aiding and abetting the attacks on Ryan and Dwyer.
Layton was tried twice on the charges. The first one ended in
a mistrial with a hung jury voting 11-1 for acquittal.
Layton argued he should be given a third trial because his
attorneys during the second trial did not realize Layton was
facing a mandatory life sentence and did not so advise their
client. As a result, Layton argued he could not make informed
decisions about defense strategy.
Layton did not testify during the trials, but he did at a
post-conviction hearing in April. Peckham later denied a new
trial and ruled that Layton's testimony was "unbelievable" and
that he "made several untruthful statements."
In revoking bail, Peckham found the perjury was probable cause
to believe Layton had committed a crime _ a violation of bail
conditions, and that Layton showed himself to be "a man of
desperation" who now presents a flight risk.
The perjury involved statements on the witness stand that
contradicted statements he had given psychiatrists in interviews
not presented at the trial. Those statements suggested Layton
was more of an instigator than a passive participant in the
planning of the airstrip shooting.
Layton's assertion that he did not know he was subject to a
mandatory life sentence was contradicted by two paralegals who
reported on conversations they had with Layton during the trial.
When Peckham sentenced Layton to life, he recommended he be
considered for parole after four years. The recommendation
considered the bizarre psychological atmosphere in which Layton
was operating and numerous letters from family friends and
jurors. The subsequent perjury development likely will be
considered at any future parole board proceeding.
Layton's attorney denied his client committed perjury but
presented little argument to support the denial.
Layton was free on bail for five years before his second trial
and was again free on bail since March. During those periods
Bryan said Layton never was a threat to society. He kept
thrice-weekly appointments with a probation officer, worked as a
real estate agent and, if successful on appeal, has marriage