Delay in bail hearing for former Panther


Fri, August 20, 2004

A MAN wanted in the U.S. for allegedly shooting and crippling a Chicago cop was remanded in custody yesterday for at least six more days after his bail hearing was postponed. Toronto librarian Joseph Coleman Pannell, 55, smiled softly as he entered the Superior Court courtroom and saw the nearly 80 supporters who had jammed the seating area.

Pannell and his wife, Terrie Coelho, gazed across the court at each other, both holding their hands over their hearts.

"I love you," mouthed Coelho, more than once at her husband.

The bail hearing was delayed because the federal Crown attorney had a family illness. It was re-scheduled to go ahead Wednesday. Pannell is seeking bail pending an extradition hearing.

Pannell was arrested last month as he left his job at the Toronto Reference Library on Yonge St.

It is alleged Pannell, while a member of the Black Panthers, shot and crippled Chicago officer Terrence Knox in 1969.

He reportedly entered Canada in 1972 using the alias Douglas Freeman and lived in Montreal for years before moving here. He and his wife have four kids.

"This is a man who is innocent and this is a man who has full faith in the Canadian justice system," defence lawyer Marshall Drukash said.