Leo Branton Jr. Dead: Lawyer Who Defended Angela Davis Dies At 91: Leo Branton Jr., a lawyer who helped successfully defend radical Angela Davis in a sensational 1972 murder case, has died. He was 91.
Branton died of natural causes on April 19 in Los Angeles, his son, Tony Nicholas, told the Los Angeles Times ( ). http://lat.ms/15L6WFQ
Branton, the only 1948 black graduate of the Northwestern University law school, already had decades of civil rights law when he became co-lead defense counsel at Davis' trial.
Davis gained national attention in 1969 when the University of California, Los Angeles professor was fired for being a member of the Communist party.
The next year, she was charged in a 1970 armed takeover of a Marin County courtroom. A 17-year-old boy smuggled guns into the San Rafael courtroom and armed three black convicts. They tried to drive away with a judge, prosecutor and three women jurors as hostages. Police opened fire and in the melee the judge, the teenager and two of the convicts died.