Killen taken to Rankin County correctional facility
Monday, June 27, 2005 9:00 AM
Former Ku Klux Klan leader Edgar Ray Killen was transported to the Central Mississippi Correctional Facility this morning shortly after a circuit court judge denied his request for a new trial in the 1964 murders of three civil rights workers.
Killen, convicted last week on three counts of manslaughter, is expected to undergo a series of medical and psychological evaluations there to determine his prison classification.
Correctional officials will then determine if Killen should serve out his 60-year sentence at the Rankin facility or at Parchman.
A jury convicted Killen on June 21 of manslaughter in connection with the deaths of Michael Schwerner, James Chaney and Andrew Goodman. The three had come to Neshoba County to investigate the burning of Mt. Zion Methodist Church and the beating of several of its members.
Killen entered the Neshoba County courthouse shortly before 9 a.m. today in a yellow prison suit, smiling and waving to family members. His wife went up and kissed him on the forehead and the couple chatted briefly with defense attorney James McIntyre before court came to order.
In asking the judge for a new trial, McIntyre said the defense did “not come to court prepared for a manslaughter trial.”
He questioned the instruction which allowed the jury the manslaughter choice as opposed to murder or acquittal.
District Attorney Mark Duncan told the court that it had repeatedly ruled that the manslaughter option was proper in murder cases.
After the judge denied the request, McIntyre told reporters that he would appeal Killen’s case to the state Supreme Court and would seek an appeal bond to allow his client to be free pending its decision.