APca 06/08 2259 Layton
By BOB EGELKO Associated Press Writer
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- A federal prosecutor, citing a judge's
finding that Larry Layton made "several untruthful statements"
during a hearing, has asked that the former Peoples Temple
member's $250,000 bail be revoked.
U.S. Attorney Joseph Russoniello made his request Monday
before Chief U.S. District Judge Robert Peckham.
Russoniello said federal law requires revocation of bail if a
judge finds probable cause to believe the defendant has committed
a crime while on bail. He also contended that new evidence in
the hearing made it likely that Layton would serve a longer
sentence, thus increasing the chances that he would harm someone
Layton's lawyer, Robert Bryan, said Layton had suffered some
self-acknowledged memory lapses but had not committed perjury
during the hearing. He also said no one could sincerely argue
that Layton posed a risk of flight or harm to others.
"Of all the clients I've ever represented, I don't think I've
ever had a gentler client than Larry Layton," Bryan told
reporters. "I just think it's unfortunate that Mr. Russoniello
continues to have such a personal vindictive attitude towards
Peckham has scheduled a hearing for next Monday.
Layton, 41, was convicted Dec. 1 of conspiracy and aiding and
abetting in the November 1978 murder of Rep. Leo Ryan, D-Calif.,
and the attempted murder of U.S. diplomat Richard Dwyer on an
airstrip in Guyana.
Hours after Ryan and four other people were shot to death by
gunman from Peoples Temple, the Rev. Jim Jones and 912 followers
died in a murder-suicide ritual at the nearby agricultural
settlement called Jonestown.
Peckham sentenced Layton to life in prison, as required by
law, but made him eligible for parole in five years, half the
usual period, with another year off for the time he has already
spent in jail. The judge said Layton, a low-ranking follower of
Jones who wounded two Peoples Temple defectors, was not a major
actor in the conspiracy to kill Ryan.
Layton, whose first trial on the same charges had ended in a
hung jury in 1981, was free on bail until his conviction. He was
then jailed, but was released again in March on $250,000 bail
during his appeal; Peckham noted his previous trouble-free record
on release and said he had not been shown to be dangerous.
Layton, who did not testify at either trial, testified during
the hearing that he had not known the sentence he faced and would
have insisted on taking the stand had he known about the life
The judge said Layton had made "several untruthful statements"
about his conversations with defense aides that "seriously
undermined his credibility as a witness." He also said Layton
"had ample incentive to distort the truth." He did not say
explicitly that Layton had knowingly lied on the stand.
Last page !