Man involved in Marin coup released

February 16, 2008 6:54:37 PM PST
-- A man convicted of murder who was once involved in a conspiracy to overthrow the government of Marin County has been ordered released from prison by a federal judge.

U.S. District Judge James Larson has ordered 43-year-old Crossan Hoover to be sent to a halfway house in San Francisco while his case is heard in a higher federal appeals court.

In September Larson overturned Hoover's conviction for the 1982 murder of Richard Baldwin after finding that prosecutors withheld evidence of Hoover's mental competency.

At the time of the murder Hoover was 17 and employed by Mark Richards, a contractor who had dreamt up a plot he called "Pendragon" that sought to replace the county's government with his own version of Camelot. Baldwin was killed because the cash-strapped Richards believed Baldwin carried large amounts of cash.

Hoover was serving a sentence of 26-years-to-life in prison when Larson overturned his conviction. Richards is serving a sentence of life without parole.

Prosecutors are seeking an emergency order to keep Hoover in prison until the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals rules on their appeal.