This Day in Black History: March 10, 1969

James Earl Ray pleads guilty to murdering Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Posted: 03/10/2012 07:00 AM EST
crime, U.S. Department of Justice, This Day in Black History, murder, civil rights, National News, Martin Luther King Jr.

James Earl Ray pleaded guilty to murdering civil rights leader and minister Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and is sentenced to 99 years in prison. Three days later, Ray attempted to withdraw his plea, claiming that he had been part of a larger conspiracy, but his motion would be denied. King’s murder has been examined by the House Select Committee on Assassinations, the Shelby County, Tenn., district attorney's office, and three times by the U.S. Justice Department, but all investigations pointed to Ray as King’s killer. On April 4, 1968, Ray used a sniper’s bullet to gun down King as he stood on the balcony outside his room at the Motel Lorraine in Memphis, Tenn.

 

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(Photo: REUTERS/Shelby County Register of Deeds/Handout)

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