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Soliah's Bail Set At $1M

Bail was set at $1 million for former revolutionary Kathleen Soliah Wednesday, when she appeared in court to plead "not guilty" to violent crimes in her youth.

CBS News Correspondent John Blackstone reports she's on trial in California, the same state she fled 23 years ago as a revolutionary on the run.

Accused of trying to blow up police cars in Los Angeles in 1975, Soliah asked to be judged by her new life under an assumed name. Three rows of the courtroom were filled with people from Minnesota who knew her only as Sara Jane Olson - an actress and churchgoing mother.

The defense had sought $250,000 bond, saying she was not likely to flee because of her devotion to her friends and family. Character witnesses including a state legislator, an investment banker, a friend from church, and others who contributed to her bail fund were there to ask for her release.

"I really truly believe in my heart - and I share this with many others in my community - we can count on Sara." said Jim Johnson, an elder at the church Soliah attends with her family.

Soliah's radical life in the 1970s and last month's arrest in St. Paul shocked many in her community. In Minnesota she'd married a doctor and had three daughters, now teenagers - they apparently knew nothing of her past.

In the 1970s she was allegedly a member of the Symbionese Liberation Army, the group that robbed banks and kidnapped newspaper heiress Patricia Hearst. After several SLA members were killed in a police shootout and fire, prosecutors said Soliah sought revenge by planting bombs under police cars in Los Angeles.

Prosecutor Michael Latin said "The true facts in this case are she's accused of planting some bombs that were designed to kill some police officers, some of whom are in this courtroom today."

After reviewing evidence, Judge Larry Fidler ordered Soliah be held in lieu of $1 million.

While he acknowledged her new life, Fidler said the bail reflected the charges.

"There is something about the use of a bomb that I find ... abhorrent,'' Fidler said. "It is a terrorist weapon completely without discretion."

If convicted, she faces a maximum sentence of life in prison. If she makes bail, Kathleen Soliah will at least temporarily be able to continue the life she's been living as Sara Jean Olson.