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State police seek return of cop killer now in Cuba

December 17, 2014

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — New Jersey state police hope that the U.S. plans to normalize full diplomatic relations with Cuba will help bring about the capture and return of a woman convicted in the slaying of a state trooper more than 40 years ago.

Joanne Chesimard was convicted of murdering Trooper Werner Foerster during a gunfight after being stopped on the New Jersey Turnpike in 1973. But she escaped from but escaped from prison and eventually ended up in Cuba, where she was granted asylum by Fidel Castro and has been living under the name Assata Shakur.

“We view any changes in relations with Cuba as an opportunity to bring her back to the United States to finish her sentence for the murder of a New Jersey State Trooper in 1973,” State Police Superintendent Col. Rick Fuentes said in a statement posted Wednesday on the agency’s Facebook page.

State authorities have made numerous efforts to extradite Chesimard, who remains on the FBI’s Most Wanted Terrorist List. The FBI and the State Police are offering $2 million for information leading to her capture.

Fuentes said he hopes the reward money will prompt “fresh information in the light of this altered international relationship.

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