Apr 2, 1980 • 1825 • Georgetown-State • 1506

[Editor’s note: This document was released both as a State Department cable as part of its 1981 FOIA release, and as Serial 2433 of the FBI’s RYMUR release.]

0 R 021825Z APR 80
FM AMEMBASSY GEORGETOWN
TO SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 2116
INFO AMEMBASSY BOGOTA
UNCLAS GEORGETOWN 1506
CA/OCS ATTN: REED CLARKE
E.O. 12065: NA
TAGS: CARR, GY (PEOPLE’S TEMPLE) (LAYTON, LAURENCE J.) (BEIKMAN, CHARLES E.)
SUBJ: JUDICIAL ACTIVITY APRIL 1, 1980
REF: GEORGETOWN 1436

1. AS REPORTED REFTEL, LAYTON TRIAL HAS BEEN ADJOURNED UNTIL MAY 5, 1980. BASED ON CONVERSATIONS WITH VARIOUS SOURCES, IT APPEARS THAT LARRY LAYTON IS DETERMINED TO PLEAD NOT GUILTY WHILE HIS LAWYER APPEARS TO BELIEVE THAT A GUILTY PLEA TO ONE OR MORE LESSER COUNTS WOULD BE THE BEST COURSE.

2. CHARLES BEIKMAN WAS PUT ON TRIAL MORNING APRIL 1 WITH NO NOTICE TO EMBASSY. HE PLEADED GUILTY TO A CHARGE OF ATTEMPTED MURDER. CONSUL ATTENDED AFTERNOON SESSION AT HIGH COURT. THE TIME WAS TOTALLY OCCUPIED BY THE DEFENSE PLEAS OF MITIGATING CIRCUMSTANCES. AS THE SESSION CONCLUDED, THE PROSECUTION PASSED ON AN OPPORTUNITY TO MAKE A FINAL STATEMENT. THE JUDGE RESERVED DECISION ON SENTENCING UNTIL TUESDAY MORNING, APRIL 8. IT IS CLEAR THAT A DEAL HAS BEEN STRUCK, BUT WE ARE UNABLE TO GET A FIRM FIX ON THE YET-TO-BE ANNOUNCED SENTENCE. CONSUL’S

UNCLASSIFIED
UNCLASSIFIED
PAGE 02 GEORGE 01506 021847Z

BEST GUESS IS THAT IT WILL FALL SOMEWHERE BETWEEN TIME SERVED AND THREE YEARS.

3. THE OFFICE OF THE DIRECTOR OF PUBLIC PROSECUTIONS HAS APOLOGIZED FOR THE SLIP UP THAT RESULTED IN OUR ABSENCE FROM COURT THE MORNING OF APRIL 1.

ROBERTS [George B. Roberts, Jr., American ambassador to Guyana]

Originally posted on June 16th, 2022.

Last modified on July 20th, 2022.
Skip to main content