Two members of the "Charlutte 3" are to reenter prison today, six years after the three black civil rights activists were sentenced to long prison terms for setting a stable fire that killed 15 horses.
Thomas J. Reddy said yesterday heard James F. Grant would turn themselves over to state prison authorities this afternoon in Stateville, 40 miles north of here, or at Central Prison in Raleigh. The third member, Charles Parker, is already in prison on another charge.
The six-year legal battle ended Oct. 2 when the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear appeals. The three men were convicted in 1972 of the 1968 fire-bombing of the lazy B riding stables, a Charlotte farm that allegedly refused to rent horses to blacks.
Grant was semenced to 25 years. Reddy to 20 and Parker to 10. Grant and Reddy were released in June 1976 on appeal bond while Parker, paroied in 1975. returned to prison in April for larceny. The three maintained that they are innocent and were prosecuted because of their political activities.
The case has attracted international attention because of the length of the sentences and because two prosecution witnesses were paid $4,000 each for their testimony. The Charlotte 3" were named "prisoners of conscience" last year by Amnesty International, the London-based human rights organization.
Only a pardon or sentence reduction from Gov. Jim Hunt can alter the outcome. Huat who has received dozens of letters on the case, asked his legal counsel for a report following the Supreme Court decision. Stephanie Bass, a press aide, said the report is due this week.
"The fact that he's reviewing it doesn't mean that he's going to do anything." Bass said. "He justs wants to educate himself."
Under similar pressure in the more celebrated "Wilmington 10" case last January. Hunt reduced sentences of the nine men still jailed on charges of fire-bombing and assault in 1972 racial distrubances.
Grant. 37, who served 15 months of his 25-year sentence before his release, faces at least five years before he is eligible for people. He has been a field worker in Raleigh with the North Carolina-Virginia Commission for Racial Justice, financed by the United Church of Christ.
Parker. 29, spent a year in prison before his parole but returned in April when he was convicted of larceny of a pair of pliers and sentenced to 15 months.