IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

Man reaches plea deal in ’69 race riot death

A black man who implicated himself on the witness stand in the death of a white policeman during a Pennsylvania race riot in 1969, reached a plea agreement with prosecutors and was released from jail Wednesday.
/ Source: The Associated Press

A black man who implicated himself on the witness stand in the fatal shooting of a white police officer during a 1969 race riot was released from jail Wednesday after reaching a plea deal.

Michael E. Wright had been charged with homicide in the slaying of Henry Schaad but pleaded guilty instead to conspiracy to commit an unlawful act.

He was sentenced to time already served after apologizing to the rookie officer’s family and released from jail, where he had been since Jan. 20.

Schaad’s death came during days of fighting between blacks and whites and sparked revenge attacks that included the fatal shooting of Lillie Belle Allen, a 27-year-old black woman.

The 10 days of rioting left dozens injured and entire blocks burned before 400 state police and National Guardsmen armed with rifles and tanks quelled the violence.

Two black men were convicted of killing Schaad.

Ten white men were charged in Allen’s case; two were convicted of second-degree murder, and seven others pleaded guilty or no contest to lesser charges. Former York Mayor Charlie Robertson, a police officer at the time, was acquitted of inciting violence against blacks.