Sacramento, Calif. -- The last former Symbionese Liberation Army member charged in a fatal bank robbery 28 years ago has pleaded guilty to murder, closing one of the most tragic episodes to emerge from the radical politics of the 1970s.
James Kilgore, 55, one of the nation's most wanted fugitives for a quarter-century, will serve six years in prison for second-degree murder under the deal. He apologized Tuesday "with all my heart" to the victim's family.
Myrna Opsahl, 42, died from a shotgun blast in the robbery that netted $15,000 for the SLA. Opsahl was at the bank to deposit her church's Sunday collection.
Four other former members of the SLA, notorious for the 1974 kidnapping of 19-year-old newspaper heiress Patricia Hearst, pleaded guilty to the murder charges last November. Earlier this year, all apologized to Opsahl's husband and four children, and they are now serving six- to eight-year prison sentences.
Kilgore will pay an undetermined amount of restitution to the Opsahls. He is also barred from profiting from selling his story, and any money he makes from books, magazines, television or films will go to a nursing scholarship in Opsahl's name.
"It was never my intention, nor that of anyone else involved to harm any person during that robbery," Kilgore said. "I accept full responsibility for my actions on that tragic day. I apologize with all my heart to the Opsahl family."
Jon Opsahl, who was 15 when his mother died, said: "I'm just glad they were able to catch him after all these years, and he was willing to take responsibility and not drag us through a long circus of a trial."
A married father of two, Kilgore spent more than two decades in Zimbabwe and South Africa after disappearing from San Francisco on Sept. 18, 1975 , the day FBI agents arrested Hearst and four other SLA members.
He was arrested in November in Cape Town , South Africa , where he had worked since 1996 as a university professor under the assumed name of Charles William Pape.
The former SLA members already sentenced in the case were Emily Montague, 56; her ex-husband, William Harris, 58; Sara Jane Olson, 56, a St. Paul, Minn., housewife formerly known as Kathleen Soliah; and Michael Bortin, 55.
Kilgore still faces up to 15 years in prison on federal explosives and passport fraud charges. He admitted participating in a statewide SLA bombing campaign in the 1970s and using a dead baby's birth certificate after his disappearance to obtain a passport in Seattle.
During their February sentencing, Montague confessed to firing the shotgun that killed Opsahl and said it went off accidentally.