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Published: Tuesday, 1/1/2008

Ford's would-be assassin freed after 32 years

ASSOCIATED PRESS

SAN FRANCISCO - Sara Jane Moore, who took a shot at President Gerald Ford in a bizarre assassination attempt just 17 days after a disciple of Charles Manson tried to kill Mr. Ford, was paroled yesterday after 32 years behind bars.

Moore, 77, was released from the federal prison in Dublin, east of San Francisco, where she had been serving a life sentence, the Bureau of Prisons said.

Bureau spokesman Felicia Ponce said she had no details about why Moore was let out. But she said that with good behavior, inmates sentenced to life can apply for parole after 10 years.

Moore was 40 feet away from Mr. Ford outside a hotel in San Francisco when she fired a shot at him on Sept. 22, 1975.

As she raised her handgun and pulled the trigger, Oliver Sipple, a disabled former Marine standing next to her, pushed up her arm. The bullet flew over Mr. Ford's head.

Two weeks earlier, Lynette "Squeaky" Fromme, a follower of Manson's, tried to kill Mr. Ford in Sacramento.

In recent interviews, Moore said she regretted her actions, saying she was blinded by her radical political views and convinced that the government had declared war on the left.

During what was expected to be a routine pretrial hearing before a federal judge, Moore blurted out that she wanted to plead guilty, and her lawyer couldn't stop her. The judge immediately accepted the plea.

Mr. Ford died just over a year ago. There was no immediate comment from the Ford family on Moore's release.



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