A self-proclaimed revolutionary with alleged ties to the radical group that committed the 1981 Brink's armored car robbery went on trial today on a charge of assaulting an FBI agent who raided her apartment while he was investigating members of the group.
Laura Jane Whitehorn, 40, also is charged with possession of a gun silencer and false identification documents intended for unlawful use.
Whitehorn was arrested at her apartment here last May after the FBI said it had learned that a fugitive wanted in connection with the Brink's robbery in Nyack, N.Y., had been staying there. Whitehorn is accused of kicking and hitting an FBI agent during the raid.
Although Whitehorn is not accused of plotting any bombings, investigators said they found a file of papers marked "In Progress" in her apartment.
The file allegedly contained plans to bomb the Old Executive Office Building in Washington and the Naval Academy in Annapolis, according to court documents.
A handful of Whitehorn supporters representing a New York-based group called the Committee to Fight Repression held a news conference on the steps of the U.S. District Court here today and read a statement from Whitehorn in which she asserted that the charges against her were "brought for the purpose of political repression."
Law enforcement authorities have said that for three months last year, Whitehorn shared her apartment with Marilyn Jean Buck, who was facing murder charges for the deaths of two police officers and a security guard in the $1.6 million Brink's holdup.
Buck and another woman who allegedly helped hide her in "safe houses" in the Northeast in the years after the robbery were arrested in New York last May, shortly after they moved there from Baltimore.
After Buck's arrest, the FBI immediately raided Whitehorn's apartment and found an Uzi submachine gun, other guns and ammunition, wigs and theatrical makeup that could be used for disguises, and false Social Security and other identity cards, according to the search warrant.
Much of what the FBI discovered has been ruled out as evidence in Whitehorn's trial.
Prosecutors charged that the false identification was used to maintain a clandestine life style that Whitehorn could eventually have used to help carry out bombings of public buildings.
Whitehorn has been held without bail in the Baltimore City Jail since her arrest.