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May 03, 2016

Fugitive accused of murdering N.J. trooper before fleeing to Cuba in '70 is back in focus

As U.S., Cuba mend political wounds fate of Assata Shakur is uncertain

The New Jersey State Police sent out the following tweet Tuesday as a reminder of long-lingering tension with Cuba over the asylum of Joanne Chesimard -- aka Assata Shakur -- who was charged with murdering a New Jersey State Trooper before escaping to the island nation in the late 1970s.

Fox 5 New York shared a recap of the alleged crime in an article headlined "Will Assata Shakur be extradited from Cuba?"

It explains that Chesimard, as U.S. law enforcement refers to her, has lived in Cuba for nearly 30 years, despite being on the FBI's Most Wanted Terrorists list.

On May 2, 1973, Chesimard and two other members of the Black Liberation Army (known for its militancy and violence toward law enforcement) were stopped by New Jersey State Troopers in East Brunswick"leading to a shootout and ending with Chesimard allegedly fatally shooting then 34-year-old trooper Werner Foerster with his own service weapon.

"Investigators believe (Chesimard) fired the first shot, wounding the other trooper then took Foerster's gun and shot him twice in the head as he lay on the ground."
In 1979, 2 years she was convicted of murder, she escaped prison and eventually fled to Cuba where, by the mid '80s, Fidel Castro granted her asylum.    

Now as U.S. and Cuba work to mend long-standing political wounds, her fate is back in focus. 

Read the full report at Fox 5 New York.