Final 'Angola Three' Inmate Released from Louisiana Prison
02/20/2016 AT 12:00 AM EST
Woodfox, was released after pleading no contest to manslaughter and aggravated burglary for the death or a prison guard in 1972, CBS News reports.
The 69-year-old and two other prisoners became known as the "Angola Three," as they spent decades in solitary confinement at the Louisiana Penitentiary at Angola and other prisons after officials deemed their Black Panther Party affiliation a hazard, stating that it could rile up other inmates.
According to the Associated Press, despite consistently saying he was innocent, and hoping to prove his innocence in an upcoming trial, Woodfox said that his health and age led to his accepting the plea deal.
"Although I was looking forward to proving my innocence at a new trial, concerns about my health and my age have caused me to resolve this case now and obtain my release with this no contest plea to lesser changes. I hope the events of today will bring closure to many," he said in a press release obtained by AP.
Lawyers for Woodfox reportedly said that the plea came after "tough negotiations" with Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry.
The other two "Angola Three" inmates – Robert King and Herman Wallace – were released in 2001 and 2013 respectively.