Trial of Former Klansman In Recess

PHILADELPHIA, MS - The trial of a former Ku Klux Klan leader has recessed until Monday, after the first defense witnesses took the stand.

Edgar Ray Killen is charged in the 1964 deaths of three civil rights workers in Mississippi.. After the prosecution rested today, the defense called four witnesses, including the defendant's brother. Oscar Killen
testified that his brother was at a Father's Day gathering on the day of the murders, and never indicated he was in the Ku Klux Klan.

The 80-year-old defendant faces life in prison if convicted of murder in the deaths of Andrew Goodman, Michael Schwerner and James Chaney. The men were helping register black voters.

It's the state's first murder trial in the case. Seven others were convicted on federal charges of violating the victims' civil rights.

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