Vs. Case No. 97242





December 8th, 1999



Before the Honorable James E. Swearengen,

Division 4, judge presiding.





Suite 2200, One Commerce Square

Memphis, Tennessee 38103

(901) 529-1999


(901) 529-1999



For the Plaintiff: DR. WILLIAM PEPPER

Attorney at Law

New York City, New York

For the Defendant:


Attorney at Law

Memphis, Tennessee

Court Reported by:


Certificate of Merit

Registered Professional


Daniel, Dillinger,

Dominski, Richberger &


22nd Floor

One Commerce Square

Memphis, Tennessee 38103


(901) 529-1999



(9:50 A.M.)

(Jury in.)

THE COURT: Good morning, ladies

and gentlemen. We've got two more

depositions that we're going to -- no. As I

promised you, we're going into the arguments

of counsel, and then you'll get your


As I indicated to you earlier, the

plaintiff would give his summary first. The

defendant then would give his version, and

then the plaintiff is allowed an opportunity

to respond to the defendant's arguments.

Mr. Pepper, you may proceed.

MR. PEPPER: Thank you, Your

Honor. Good morning, ladies and gentlemen.

Let me right at the out set thank you for

your attention throughout these proceedings,

long and sometimes tedious though they may

have been. We're very grateful for your

sitting here and listening to the variety of

evidence that you have heard.


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Your Honor will charge you on the

various aspects of evidence that you heard.

You know you've heard a great deal of

testimony here. You also have available to

you a great number of exhibits that are

attached to the testimony that you have


We urge you to at any point require

these exhibits to be brought to you so that

you can read them and consider them at

length. All the testimony, the various

levels of credibility that you describe, his

Honor will charge you with that, but it is

really down to you at the end of the day as

to how much you believe the various people

who sat in that chair there and who told you


The media is very quick and prompt

to say and yell out that such and such is

hearsay, second-hand accounts, third-hand

accounts. But the media is unable to tell

you, of course, what the law is with respect

to hearsay evidence.

They think because something is


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hearsay, a person is saying what another

person has said, that it is not to be

regarded, it is to be dismissed. In actual

fact, ladies and gentlemen, if a witness is

giving you hearsay but the hearsay statement

is from a person who is speaking against his

own interest, saying something that could put

him in jail in the case of the defendant

here, could have him indicted, then that is

to be taken very seriously. It is admissible

because of that exception. There are a range

of other exceptions why you can consider


Now, it is my job, my role here this

morning, to summarize the plaintiffs' case.

It is a case that is divided really into nine

sections. In the course of presenting that

case to you, we've taken witnesses out of

order simply because they have come from

various parts of the country and the world.

We've had problems with schedules. So at one

time you would hear a witness talking to you

about a rifle, a murder weapon in evidence,

then another time you would hear a witness


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talking about a crime scene, and we had

already gone over that.

So it is difficult for you sometimes

perhaps to put all those pieces together in

an orderly fashion. That's really what I

have to do. I have to try to do that. I

have to set it out so that you can see how

this case folds together.

I'm going to try to work with you on

that this morning and try to help you

understand it as best I can. Plaintiffs'

case began with a section that dealt with the

background, the background of all of this,

why you are here, why Martin King was

assassinated, why he came to Memphis before

he was assassinated. So it dealt with the


Then we moved with a second area

concerned which was local conspiracy we

called it, what was happening here in

Memphis, what events were going on that

constituted conspiracy, legally civil

conspiracy under the law. Because that's

really what we are asking you to find is that


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there was a conspiracy here.

Thirdly, we dealt with the crime

scene. What was this crime scene all about.

Where was the crime scene? What happened


Fourthly, we went into the rifle.

This is the murder weapon. We discussed the

murder weapon and asked you to consider all

the evidence with respect to the murder

weapon. We move next to a shadowy figure

called Raul. Who is this man who was

claimed to have been James Earl Ray's

controller and the role that he played in

this case?

Then we move beyond that to what we

have called a broader conspiracy beyond

Memphis that reached into the higher levels

of the government of the United States and

some of its agents and officials. We moved

through that with you.

We went beyond that, then, into

really what amounts to a cover up. What was

the cover-up activity and why was it

important and why have these events been


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shielded from public view so that only you,

you twelve, fourteen, here day after day, and

his Honor, alone perhaps in this broad land,

have heard this evidence.

How could that be, a case as

important as this? How could that be? But

it has been the case. Then we considered the

defendant's admissions, the defendant -- the

named defendant in this case, his actual

admissions, against his own interest and what

is in evidence with respect to that.

We moved lastly really to the area

of damages. And there was a fair amount of

testimony on damages from the members of the

family with respect to what they were looking

for and what their perspective was in terms

of any kind of remuneration for the loss that

they have suffered.

So that's the outline. Now let's

look at each of those sections, if we can.

First the background. Martin King, as you

know, for many years was a Baptist preacher

in the southern part of this country, and he

was thrust into leadership of the civil


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rights movement at a historic moment in the

civil rights movement and social change

movement in this part of the country. That's

where he was. That's where he has been

locked in time, locked in a media image,

locked as an icon in the brains of the people

of this country.

But Martin King had moved well

beyond that. When he was awarded the Noble

Peace Prize he became in the mid-1960's an

international figure, a person of serious

stature whose voice, his opinions, on other

issues than just the plight of black people

in the South became very significant

world-wide. He commanded world-wide

attention as few had before him. As a

successor, if you will, to Mahatmas Gandi in

terms of the movement for social change

through civil disobedience. So that's where

he was moving.

Then in 1967, April 4, 1967, one

year to the day before he was killed, he

delivered the momentous speech at Riverside

Church in New York where he opposed the war.


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Now, he thought carefully about this war. He

had been inclined to oppose it for quite a

long period of time. Prior to that, two,

three years prior to that he had uneasy


I remember vividly, I was a

journalist in Vietnam, when I came back he

asked to meet with me, and when I opened my

files to him, which were devastating in terms

of the effects upon the civilian population

of that country, he unashamedly wept.

I knew at that point really that the

die was cast. This was in February of 1967.

He was definitely going to oppose that war

with every strength, every fiber in his body.

And he did so. He opposed it. And from the

date of the Riverside speech to the date he

was killed, he never wavered in that


Now, what does that mean? Is he an

enemy of the State? The State regarded him

as an enemy because he opposed it. But what

does it really mean, his opposition? I put

it to you that his opposition to that war had


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little to do with ideology, with capitalism,

with democracy. It had to do with money. It

had to do with huge amounts of money that

that war was generating to large

multinational corporations that were based in

the United States, corporations that were

based in the United States.

When Martin King opposed the war,

when he rallied people to oppose the war, he

was threatening the bottom lines of some of

the largest defense contractors in this

country. This was about money. When he

threatened to bring that war to a close

through massive popular opposition, he was

threatening the bottom lines of some of the

largest construction companies, one of which

was in the State of Texas, that patronized

the Presidency of Lyndon Johnson and had the

major construction contracts at Cam Ran Bay

in Vietnam. This is what Martin King was

challenging. He was challenging the weapons

industry, the hardware, the armament

industries, that all would lose as a result

of the end of the war.


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Forget about democracy, forget about

any ideology. This opposition to Martin

King, this growing enmity to him, was based

on money and the loss of money. The second

aspect of his work that also dealt with money

that caused a great deal of consternation in

the circles of power in this land had to do

with his commitment to take a massive group

of people to Washington and there to encamp

them in the shadow of the Washington memorial

for as long as it took. For as long as it

took, they would make daily trips to the

halls of Congress and they would try to

compel the Congress to act, as they had

previously acted in terms of civil rights

legislation, now to act in terms of social


Now, he begin to talk about a

redistribution of wealth, in this the

wealthiest country in the world that had such

a large group of poor people, of people

living then and now, by the way, in poverty.

That problem had to be addressed. And it

wasn't a black-and-white problem. This was a


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problem that dealt with Hispanics, and it

dealt with poor whites as well. That is what

he was taking on. That's what he was


The powers in this land believed he

would not be successful. Why did they

believe that? They believed that because

they knew that the decision-making processes

in the United States had by that point in

time, and today it is much worse in my view,

but by that point in time had so consolidated

power that they were the representatives, the

foot soldiers, of the economic -- the very

economic interests who were going to suffer

as a result of these times of changes. So

the very powerful lobbying forces that put

their people in the halls of Congress and

indeed in the White House itself and

controlled them, paid and bought them and

controlled them, were certainly not going to

agree to the type of social legislation that

Martin King and his mass of humanity were

going to require.

So there was a fear. What happens


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when they are frustrated? What happens when

they don't get any satisfaction? What would

happen? They feared, the military feared,

that there would be a violent rebellion in

the nation's capital. And they didn't have

the troops that could contain half a million

angry poor alienated Americans. They didn't

have the troops. Westmorland wanted another

two hundred thousand in Vietnam. They didn't

have them to give to him. They didn't have


They were afraid that mob would

overrun the capital. They were afraid that

what Mr. Jefferson had urged many, many

times, that the body politic can only be

cleansed by a revolution every twenty years.

They were afraid that Mr. Jefferson would be

listened to and that that revolution would

take place.

Because of that, those factors,

Martin King was not going to be allowed, not

going to be allowed to bring that group of

people to Washington. So that's the reason

for the hostility. He saw Memphis as part


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and parcel of the overall problem, as a

microcosm. He saw the plight of the garbage

workers here as being symptomatic of the

pervasive sickness of American society.

So he said if we turn our backs on

these ones, how can we go on behalf of the

broad national interests? These ones need us

now, let's start the Poor People's Campaign

here, which is what he did.

So he came to Memphis and he was

here on the 17th and 18th of March and he

spoke and he returned again on the 28th of

March and the march turned nasty.

Indications are there that there were

provocateurs, that it was broken up

deliberately, that he was discredited because

of that, and he had to then return.

And so he did plan to come back.

There was opposition within his own

organization. But he said, no, we're going

to do this and we're going to lead a peaceful

march and this is the way we're going to

launch this campaign, and so he came back to

Memphis. After the 28th he came back on the


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3rd of April.

Now we move to the local conspiracy

that related to the death of Martin Luther

King. You've heard evidence of a very

reputable forty-year-in-business store owner

sit up there and tell you that he always

bought -- every Thursday he went to Frank

Liberto's warehouse, that was his last stop

before he went back to Somerville, and on

that Thursday, April 4, he heard the owner of

that place take the telephone and scream into

it, "Shoot the son-of-a-bitch when he comes

on the balcony," amongst other things. That

is the first indication of the involvement of

a Mr. Frank Liberto, which information was

given to the police and the FBI and forgotten


Then you've heard two other

independent witnesses testify at different

ends of the trial, one called as a witness by

the defense, Mrs. Lavada Addison, who had

this conversation with Mr. Liberto in her

cafe when Liberto leaned over the table at a

time when the Select Committee hearings were


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on, apparently something came on the

television, and whispered to Mrs. Addison,

"I arranged to have Martin Luther King

killed." She jumped back and was shocked by

this. So.

Liberto puts himself in it against

his own interest, mind you. He has said

that. You are entitled to believe that.

Then comes Mrs. Lavada Addison's son

Nathan, who confronts Liberto, and Liberto

again confirms the same thing to him. So we

see now Mr. Frank Liberto's involvement in

this whole scenario.

Then we have from the defendant

himself in sessions that are before you and

you've heard testimony from Ambassador Young

and Mr. King about how he was approached and

he was asked to assist or become involved in

this assassination again by Mr. Liberto and

how he was told that he would be visited by a

man called Raul, he would first receive some

money, be visited by a man called Raul, he

would pass the money to Raul, he would

receive a gun, that he was be asked to


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participate in this endeavor and he should

not worry because there would be no police

around, the police would not be there.

We've heard him say that in fact he

did these things and that he received the gun

after the shooting. He said he received the

gun right at his back door. That's as far as

he went in his admissions. Of course, he

also said he didn't know what was going on.

Neither Ambassador Young nor Mr. King

believed him in that respect, that he didn't

know what was going on.

Now, why would anyone say this? Is

this something new? No. You heard testimony

from witnesses who indicated that Mr. Jowers

had said this to them years ago, as much as

twenty years ago he had said this, he had

said that he knew how Martin Luther King was

killed. He had indicated to them that he

didn't do it but he knew how it was done, and

in one case he actually told the same story

way back then that he is telling now.

So this is not some afterthought

from Mr. Jowers to try to make a movie or


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become -- have notoriety or something like

that. This is a consistent story that has

been around for a long time, and other

witnesses from previous times have confirmed


So other indications of the local

conspiracy, what are they? You've heard

about the removal of Detective Redditt, who

was a police officer on surveillance duty on

the afternoon. He was removed within an hour

of the killing and told there was a threat on

his life and he was sent home to arrive at

his home at the time of the assassination,

never to hear about this threat again. This

was a phony threat. I think it became quite

clear. They didn't trust him because when

been a community relations officer that had

been secunded into intelligence and at the

last minute had to pull him off, he might

have seen something, done something that was

untrustworthy. He was pulled off. The other

officer remained making notes of what he


There were two black firemen, the


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only two black firemen in the fire station,

they were removed. They were given orders

the night before not to report for duty but

to go to another fire station in each case

where they were surplussed to requirements.

Why were they removed? Why were those two

black firemen removed, the only two black

firemen, and the night before?

You heard the Jerry Williams,

Captain Williams, testified that he had

always formed an elite black homicide group

of detectives as a bodyguard for Dr. King.

The last visit, he was not asked to form that

bodyguard. This was the only time he was not

asked to form that bodyguard, and he didn't

know why he was not asked to form that

bodyguard. And that troubled him.

You heard that the police were at

one point around the Lorraine Motel and then

they were removed, or they just disappeared.

They disappeared within a half hour,

forty-five minutes of the killing. Why did

they disappear? Where did they go?

You saw evidence that the Invaders,


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a local community-organizing group that had

been willing to work with Dr. King toward the

end and were there for the purpose of helping

him produce a peaceful march, at ten minutes

to six, eleven minutes before the actual

shooting, they left the motel. They were

ordered to leave the motel. They were told

their bills were no longer going to be paid

and they had to leave the hotel. So they

emptied out. They might have reacted

violently and caused some sort of

conflagration at the hotel, but they didn't.

They just left.

You heard about the removal of the

emergency tact forces. This is the emergency

tact forces, in this case it was Tact 10,

which was usually a group of four or five

police cars with officers from the sheriff's

department, police officers. They were

around the Lorraine Motel until the afternoon

before the killing. The afternoon of the 3rd

they were ordered to be pulled back to the

fire station on the periphery. When

Inspector Evans was asked who gave him the


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instructions to pull them back, he said it

was a request from Dr. King's group. But

when he was asked who, you may recall, he

said, oh, yes, I think it was Reverend Kyles

that gave me that instruction. But the tact

forces were pulled back.

The defendant on the day of the

killing ordered a witness whom you heard who

was working at a waitress for him, ordered

Bobbie Balfour not to take any food upstairs

to Grace Stephens, who was ill, and who had

been receiving food on a daily basis, but

that day, because the second floor of the

rooming house was being used as a staging

ground, no one was allowed up there, and he

told her not to go up there. So she didn't

go. So she didn't go.

Then you heard Olivia Catling, who

had never been spoken to by anyone, Olivia

Catling took the stand and told about a man

coming from an alley that was connected to a

building that was attached to the rooming

house. She saw this man coming through that

alley shortly after the killing, some minutes


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after the killing, and getting into a 1965

Green Chevrolet that was parked on Huling and

then speeding away north on Mulberry Street

right in front of the police, burning rubber

as he went, with no interference whatsoever

from them.

All of these things, all of these

events, I submit to you profoundly are strong

evidence of the existence of a conspiracy

just at the local level, not even mentioning

the fact that the defendant has also

indicated that planning sessions took place

in his grill prior to the assassination.

So I think it is important to see

that total picture of evidence you have.

There should be no doubt that all of these

things are indicative overwhelmingly of


Now, are we conspiracy buffs because

we find all of this evidence insurmountable?

I think not. But you have heard it. The

masses of Americans have not. And the media

has never put it to them and I submit to you

probably never will. That's why your


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presence is so important.

The crime scene, what about this

crime scene? We submit that the crime scene,

of course, was the back area of the rooming

house. It was terribly overgrown with

bushes. The bushes were thick and they were

difficult to penetrate and that they provided

an excellent sniper's lair. That's where the

crime took place.

Any number of witnesses and evidence

in the record indicates that a person or

persons was seen in those bushes at the time

of the shooting. These are different

accounts that we put into the record,

separate and apart.

There is other evidence, again,

separate independent evidence, that a person

was seen jumping from the wall, jumping over

the wall and running up Mulberry Street. As

a result of this, we've concluded some while

ago and have tried to provide enough impetus

for you to conclude that the shot came from

these bushes and not from the bathroom



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The bathroom window and the rooming

house bathroom has been officially the scene

of this crime forever. The State had

evidence long ago that that was not the case,

that the dent in the window sill was not made

by the rifle, even though they maintained

that was the case. The bathroom was seen


The State's main witness was drunk

at the time. He was intoxicated. He

couldn't identify anybody. Captain Tommy

Stephens said he couldn't identify anyone,

much less stand up. Yet it was the affidavit

of Charles Stephens that brought James Earl

Ray back to this country back from England.

That was the basis of the proof that brought

him back.

Do you know what confidence the

State had in their own chief witness? They

didn't even call him at the time of the

guilty plea hearing. He didn't even testify

at that point.

Now, the murder weapon itself, Judge

Joe Brown heard testimony and evidence in


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this case for about four years. He paid

particular attention to the weapon, and he

has had a lifetime of experience and

developed knowledge about weapons and about

rifles in particular. We qualified the judge

as an expert. He came before you and he sat


Anyone who heard Judge Brown's

testimony with respect to that weapon should

have no -- and weapons in general should have

no doubt whatsoever that he is in fact an

expert. The media will point to his lack of

technical training, courses having been taken

with respect to learning about rifles. The

other areas for developing expertise happens

to be experience and self knowledge and

development, which is what Judge Brown has.

Judge Brown sat in that chair and

gave you sample technical scientific reasons

why that weapon in evidence is not the murder

weapon very clearly. He said, first of all,

the scope was never sighted in. Because it

was never sighted in, if you use that scope,

to quote him, you couldn't hit the broadside


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of a barn with that weapon, remember that

expression, because it was firing to the left

and below the target, because it was never

sighted in.

He also said the scope couldn't have

been altered by having been dropped in a

bundle. You can't alter a scope to that

extent, its accuracy, by doing that.

He said also that the death slug did

not have the same metallurgical composition

as existed in the lead of the other evidence

bullets that were found in that bundle the

State has always said it was one of a number

of bullets the defendant had and you should

see them as a package, if you will. Judge

Brown said, no, the death slug was different

in metallurgical composition than the bullets

that were there.

Beyond this, there is evidence that

you've heard that this clearly couldn't have

been the murder weapon because the defendant

told a taxi driver, James McCraw, to get rid

of the murder weapon, and he did so. McCraw,

being a close friend of Jowers, a confident


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of Jowers, took the actual murder weapon and

threw it off the Memphis-Arkansas Bridge. So

it is laying at the bottom of the Mississippi

River for over thirty-one years. The real

murder weapon is at the bottom of that


Now, Bill Hamblin, no reason to lie,

he said McCraw would only tell him this when

he got drunk and he told him this over

fifteen years. This is not something McCraw

made up one day. It is over a period of

fifteen years. I remind you that he told

this same story.

Judge Arthur Haynes testified that

he was, of course, James Earl Ray's first

lawyer along with his father, and he

testified that in the course of their early

on-the-scene investigation, they talked to

Guy Canipe, who owned the amusement shop in

front of which was found the bundle which

contained, amongst other things, the rifle.

He said Canipe told them very early on,

before anyone else apparently had done any

kind of tampering with him, told him very


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early on that that bundle was dropped some

minutes before the actual shooting. Imagine

that, that the bundle, the murder weapon, the

rifle in evidence, was dropped minutes before

the actual shooting.

Now we come to Raul, this shadowy

figure who the defendant has mentioned and

who James Earl Ray has talked about right

from the beginning as someone who controlled

him. You have a number of independent

people, not even knowing each other, who have

identified this man from a spread of

photographs that they have seen. And they

range from an English merchant seaman, who we

had to depose by telephone at some length,

who ran into this same Raul at the same bar

James did, up at the Neptune in Montreal.

They range from him to the Grabows, Royce

Wilburn, to the defendant himself who

identified Raul from a spread of photographs

before Ambassador Young and Mr. King, and, of

course, James Earl Ray, who also identified


If that is not enough, if that is


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not enough, we have the British film

producer, Jack Saltman, going to the door of

Raul's house, showing a photograph and

having his daughter admit that that is the

photograph of her father, her words to the

effect that anyone can get that picture or

that photograph of my father. It is from

Immigration & Naturalization. She identified

her own father as the person in that


Under subpoena and reluctantly a

Portuguese journalist took the stand. She

had conducted an interview with a member of

the family. The member of that family had

told her that this was a horror, a nightmare

for them and for the family, but the one

comfort they had was that the government was

helping them, that the government had sent

people to their home approximately three

times or so, and that the government was

monitoring their telephone calls and the

government was providing them with guidance.

The government was trying to give them

comfort and advice.


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Can you imagine if anything like

that happened to -- if any charges were laid

against any of us in those circumstances, do

you think the government would come around

and see us, help us, monitor our phones?

That act alone indicates the importance and

the significance of this man, Raul. So it

is essential that that be put clearly in the


Now, as I understand it, the defense

had invited Raul to appear here. He is

outside this jurisdiction, so a subpoena

would be futile. But he was asked to appear

here. In earlier proceedings there were

attempts to depose him, and he resisted

them. So he has not attempted to come

forward at all and tell his side of this

story or to defend himself.

As we move into the next area, we're

concerned now about a broader conspiracy, a

broader conspiracy. That is two-pronged,

ladies and gentlemen. On the one hand, the

broader conspiracy goes beyond a shooter in

the bushes who gets away with killing Martin


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King. It goes from him to a Mr. Jowers, who

is involved in facilitating, and it goes back

to Mr. Liberto, whom you've heard was clearly

a part of it, but it goes beyond Mr. Liberto

in terms of the Mob side, because you've

heard from witness Nathan Whitlock how he

used to push a fruit cart in New Orleans with

Mr. Carlos Marcello and that he then has this

relationship and this awareness of Marcello

and Marcello activities. Carlos Marcello has

been the Mob kingpin, was the Mob leader in

this part of the country, for a long, long


So any contract, any Mob contract,

on Martin Luther King's life, would come from

Marcello through Liberto into the local

infrastructure that Marcello had here in


Marcello himself was involved in gun

running. Part of the evidence in terms of

the military involvement is contained in a

lengthy article that we put into evidence

that appears in March of 1993 in the

Commercial Appeal by Steve Tomkins, and that


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article indicated that there was a

high-ranking general who had been charged and

imprisoned for aiding and abetting the

trading in stolen weapons. That deal meant

what he was involved in was the theft of guns

from arsenals, armories and camps, like Camp

Shelby in Mississippi, the theft of weapons

from those places that went to -- were

trucked to a Marcello property in New

Orleans, and from the Marcello property in

New Orleans were shipped around the coast

into Houston, Texas, where they were taken

off. And that is where Raul and his crowd

came into the receipt of those weapons before

they went into Latin and South America.

So that's one prong of the broader

conspiracy, the Mob. But, you see, already

there is a relationship between organized

crime and the military in the receipt of

those weapons and in the ongoing sale of


Then we move directly into the

government of the United States, their agents

themselves. We've learned that the 111th


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Military Intelligence Group based at Fort

McPherson in Atlanta, Georgia, were here.

They were in Memphis. They had Martin King

under surveillance. That was open -- quote,

open surveillance, eye-to-eye surveillance.

They had him under surveillance.

Eli Arkin of the Memphis Police

Department Intelligence Bureau, Intelligence

Division, said they were in his office. He

has admitted they were in his office. They

were here.

There was another section here that

was involved in covert surveillance of Martin

King. "Covert" means bugging, wiretapping,

that type of activity. That was done at the

Rivermont when he was here on the 17th or

18th. You heard a witness say he was one of

three people who were effectively a

surveillance team. They had Martin King's

suite bugged, every room of it bugged,

including the balcony. If he wanted to speak

privately and went out on the balcony, they

would pick it up by relay from the roof.

That covert -- that type of covert


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surveillance was carried out by another

agency, usually the Army Security Agency. So

there we have those two agencies involved

very clearly here.

Then there were photographers.

Remember those photographers that Captain

Weeden talked about. They were on the roof

of the fire station. He put them there. Who

were they? They were a psychological

operations team, and they were there and they

photographed everything throughout that day.

That means, ladies and gentlemen,

that there is a film of everything that

happened, photographs of everything that

happened buried somewhere. We tried long and

hard to unearth it unsuccessfully, but it is

there and it is hidden, as it was hidden from

this jury it is hidden from the American

people. Maybe the media one day will let you

know that it exists. But it is there. They

took those photographs. They were what is

known as a psychological operations team, and

we know who the two members of that team



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So there is this very strong

presence now, which is primarily

surveillance, it is intelligence gathering,

it is visual and it is audio and it is going

on and Martin King and his group are the

subject of it.

But then there is another group that

is more sinister. They are not more sinister

because of what they did, because they didn't

really do anything, but we know they had a

presence. And that was a special eight-man

sniper unit that was here in Memphis. They

were all part of the 20th Special Forces

Group. They were here and they were assigned

and they were trained for an operation, for a

mission, in Memphis. You heard testimony by

a man who himself was a national security

council operative who was very involved in

Iran-Contra activities, who had been a

long-standing operative, if you will, of the

government of the United States and whose

best friend was a member of that sniper

team. There was no reason in the world for

his best friend other than in a moment of


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whatever, anguish or burden, desire to

relieve himself, to talk about this, this

mission that he was on which he was assigned

to in Memphis which was aborted, but he was

assigned to it.

With a Q and A approach you heard

documents of working papers that were used to

get information from other -- from another

source who lives south of the border and who

fled the country in the 1970's out of fear

who was also a part of that unit. So they

were there, and there are three separate

sources that confirm the presence. But they

did not -- it was not necessary for them to

do anything. The mission was aborted because

the Mob contract was successful in killing

Martin Luther King and framing James Earl


Remember, one of the things that

Liberto also told the defendant, Loyd Jowers,

was that there was a setup man, there was a

patsy, lined up to take the blame. There was

another area of comfort that the defendant

could have.


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Now we move to the cover-up aspect

of this case. This in many ways is the most

sad in a representative democracy to have to

have this kind of cover-up be successful for

so long. It is a shame. It is a tragedy. I

think it goes right to the essence of

democracy and the right of the people to


The cover-up activities in this

case, ladies and gentlemen, range from murder

to press manipulation and distortion, with

bribery in between. Murder, unfortunately in

our view, and from the evidence that you have

heard here, credible sources, is that a taxi

driver who pulled into the Lorraine Motel

maybe six minutes before the killing or so,

shortly before the killing, a Yellow Cab taxi

driver who pulled into that drive and who was

standing at the rear of his car loading the

trunk of the car with the baggage, the

luggage, of someone that was leaving,

unfortunately for him, immediately after the

shooting he saw the shooting and then turned

to look at the other side of the road and saw


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a man come down out of the bushes and run up

the street and get into a waiting Memphis

Police Department traffic car which sped


When he reported this to his

dispatcher, he thought the police had the

assassin because he was in a police car going

away. Well, this man, as you've heard, was

questioned by the police a couple of times

that week. He was to give a statement the

next day.

He didn't give a statement, did he?

No, his body was found off the

Memphis-Arkansas Bridge supposedly thrown out

of a speeding car. Now, when we tried to

find death certificates for this man, we

couldn't, either in Arkansas or in

Tennessee. There is no death record at all.

We found his phone number with that of his

wife listed in 1967, 1966 and 1967, Betty and

Paul Butler. This is all in evidence. The

Polk Directory pages are there for you to

look at. In 1968 it is Betty, brackets,

widow, WID, of Paul, Betty widow, 1968 and


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1969 she a widow. Paul Butler was her

deceased husband. He was, for him, in the

wrong place at the wrong time.

That is in some ways the worst of

it. Because is there anything really worse

than losing your life when you've been in the

wrong place at the wrong time?

The next aspect of cover-up is the

tampering, drastic alteration, of the crime

scene. What happened there? You've heard

what happened. Seven o'clock in the morning

Inspector Sam Evans called Maynard Stiles,

who was a public works administrator, and

asked him to get a work crew out there and to

cut down those bushes. They cut the bushes


Now, normally what one does with a

crime scene, at least for quite a period of

time, is to rope it off and keep people out

of it and investigate it as it is. You don't

go and destroy the crime scene. You don't

know what is there. You go and you deal with

it the way it was at the time of the crime.

No, it was cut right to the ground,


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cut right to the ground. And however long it

took them to do it, they did a good job,

because it was not possible for a sniper to

be in that area once it was cut to the ground

because he could obviously be very visible.

So the image of a flat, barren area is what

was relayed, and that reinforced the whole

bathroom window.

There was no house-to-house

investigation, ladies and gentlemen. Do you

remember Judge Brown on the stand saying that

this was the most deficient investigation,

criminal investigation, he had ever seen as a

criminal court judge? He is talking about

all of these kinds of things. Imagine, no

house-to-house investigation.

What that means is that no policeman

going and knocking on the door of all of the

local residents and asking them did they see

anything, did they hear anything, because

surely if they had, they would have knocked

on Olivia Catling's door, wouldn't they? She

just lived down the street on Mulberry. She

would have told them what she saw. But they


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didn't. They didn't do that, did they? No,

they didn't do that, not at all. Why?

Why did they suppress two alibi

statements, a statement from Ray Hendricks

and William Reed, who left Jim's Grill, oh,

thirty-five minutes past the hour of five,

forty minutes past the hour of five, right

around there, maybe even -- well, right

around that time. It would be difficult to

pin exact times down.

They left Jim's Grill, saw James

Earl Ray's Mustang parked in front of Jim's

Grill, started to walk up the street and a

couple of minutes later when they went up a

couple of blocks and were about to cross

Vance, one pulled the other back when the

same white Mustang they thought came right

around the corner driving away, as James Earl

Ray had said he done.

He always said he left the scene of

the crime around to that time to try to go

have a spare tire repaired. Here are two

alibi witnesses with statements given to the

FBI in their 302's kept from the defense,


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withheld from the guilty plea jury,


What else was suppressed? What was

suppressed was the fact that they had a

scientific report from the FBI that the dent

in the window sill could not sufficiently be

tied to the rifle. They had that. They had

that almost a year prior to the actual guilty

plea hearing. And yet they went before the

guilty plea jury and said that scientific

evidence would establish that the murder

weapon made that dent. Obstruction of

justice, suppression? That and worse.

What about the death slug that could

not be matched? You know, the media and the

State have turned the burden in this case of

matching the bullet to the rifle the other

way around. They are saying because you

can't exclude it, it may be the murder

weapon. That's not the way it works. In any

other case that's not the way it works.

This is not a good rifle in evidence

when you cannot match the death slug to it.

And it was a death slug capable of being


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matched. You have evidence that that bullet

was capable of being matched if it could.

There were enough striations, enough

independent markings that they could match it

if they could.

So the guilty plea hearing heard

none of this. I talked to members of the

guilty plea jury years later. They heard

none of this. This was all kept quiet. They

certainly would have had questions about Mr.

Ray's plea if they had.

They certainly didn't know that his

lawyer had agreed in writing to pay $500 if

he would plead guilty and not cause any

problems and that $500 could be used to hire

another lawyer who could help overturn the

plea. They certainly were not told that.

They certainly were not told those

kinds of pressures that descended on him at

the last minute to cop this plea, which I'm

afraid people do all the time in desperation,

particularly when they are in isolation the

way he was.

What about Captain Weeden? My


(901) 529-1999


goodness. Captain of the fire station, never

interviewed by local police authorities. The

man who ran that installation, who was there

at the time, never interviewed by the

authorities. Forgetting about knocking on

people's doors. Here is official, he is a

senior executive officer of the fire

station. They didn't talk to him. They

didn't interview him. They didn't ask him

what was going on there that afternoon. Were

they afraid that he would have told them

about the photographers on the roof? Because

if he had, then they wouldn't have been

unnoticed, would they? It wouldn't have been

unnoticed that there were photographs of what

went on, and they would have then had to

request those photographs. So if you don't

talk to Captain Weeden, you don't have to

know about them. If you don't know about it,

you don't ask for it.

You heard Bill Schaap on the stand

for a long time talking about media

distortion and the use of media for

propaganda. He gave you the history of how it


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has developed particularly over the 20th

century America but, of course, it is a

long-standing activity throughout history in

older nations than this.

But Schaap took you painstakingly

through that history down to the present time

when he dealt with the way the media handled

Martin Luther King, how they handled his

opposition to the war in Vietnam, how he was

attacked because of that opposition to the


Then he moved on. There were

similar, comparable attacks on the King

family since they decided they wanted the

truth out in this case and they decided that

James Earl Ray was entitled to a trial,

similar media treatment happened to them that

happened to Martin, similar loss of

contributions and money for the work that

happened to Martin back in those days. The

same thing.

Bill Schaap led you through that.

There were a couple of instances where he

referred to the huge network of ownership and


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control of media entities all over the world

by the Central Intelligence Agency. It is a

matter of public record. It has appeared in

Congressional hearings, Senate hearings,

which most people don't read, don't know

anything about, and, of course, the media

only covers in sparse fashion, because it is

contrary to their interests to show that

great numbers of newspapers, radio stations,

television stations, may in fact be actually

owned by the Central Intelligence Agency in

this country as well as elsewhere.

He talked about the numbers of

actual agents who work for media companies,

who are placed in positions in network

television company positions, in newspaper

company positions, on newspaper editorial

board positions.

If you see the history of how

national security cases are covered and this

is one, you will be amazed that some of the

most liberal columnists, writers, respected

journalists, Pulitzer Prize winners, who have

all the liberal credentials, when it comes to


(901) 529-1999


this kind of case, they all of a sudden are

totally with the government because national

security cases are a different ball game.

Ambassador Young ran into one at one

point in an airport, and he said to him, how

can you do this, Tony, about this case, you

have great credentials in every other way,

what is it about this case? His response

was, you'll be happy to know my wife agrees

with you. But that was it. That was the end

of the response.

The point is on these cases there is

a special type of treatment that is given.

It is important to understand that across the

board. That explains a lot of what we're

talking about. Examples: Column 1, New York

Times, November, the article is here, Alton,

Illinois, bank robbery, Wendell Rose, Jr.,

the Times wrote this whole piece, fabricated,

whole cloth, that the Ray brothers robbed the

bank in Illinois and that's where James got

his money and therefore there is no Raul.

The problem was that the article

said that the Times had conducted a special


(901) 529-1999


investigation that paralleled that of the

House Select Committee and that of the FBI,

and all three investigations indicated this

was the case. Case closed, this is where Ray

got his money.

The problem is they never talked to

the chief of police in Alton, Illinois. They

never talked to the president of the bank in

Alton, Illinois. There was no

investigation. And when those people were

talked to by myself or by Jerry Ray, who went

down there to turn himself in -- you think I

did this, I'm prepared to turn myself in --

the guy said, go away, you've never been a

suspect. Isn't that amazing, out of whole

cloth. But it appears, and that's the

mindset that the people have.

You heard Earl Caldwell say he was

sent to Memphis by his national editor, New

York Times national editor, Claude Sitton at

the time, and told to go to Memphis and his

words were "nail Dr. King." Nail Dr. King.

That is what he said he was told was his

mission here in Memphis as a New York Times


(901) 529-1999


reporter. I can go on. But these are

examples of what happens with the media.

Now, Bill Schaap told you the impact

of that out of thirty-one years is very

devastating, is very hard to hear this for

thirty-one years and have somebody come along

and say, no, you've been told the wrong thing

and here are a whole set of facts that are

uncontrovertible and this is why you've been

old the wrong thing.

The reaction is still, oh, yes,

that's interesting, but the next day we still

believe, because it is almost implanted

neurologically. That's the problem that this

kind of distortion, media propaganda abuse,

just raises.

Mr. Jowers here, the defendant, was

a victim of that. They gave him -- ABC gave

him a lie detector test and they told him at

the end of that lie detector test that he had

failed, why was he doing this, was he looking

for money, he had failed this lie detector


You heard from a cab driver, who has


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nothing to gain by this, take the stand and

say, yeah, he drove those ABC people to the

airport, took them to the airport, and he

heard their conversation. His ears perked up

when he heard Jowers' name because he heard

them, the guy in the front, the examiner,

said, I couldn't get him to waver, I couldn't

get him to waver. They were commenting on

how much he remembered in so much detail and

why he remembered so much detail.

There is no question about him

failing this test. They couldn't get the

defendant to lie. And yet that program was

broadcast, was put out to masses of people in

this country to believe to this day that the

defendant lied, that he lied.

Now, you heard -- we're still on

cover-up. I'm sorry. You heard about two

efforts to bribe James Earl Ray. I don't

know of any others, but you have heard of two

in particular, one from a lawyer, Jack

Kershaw, who told you about a meeting at the

Nelson Book Publishing Company and he was

offered a sum of money if Ray would admit


(901) 529-1999


that he did it. He was offered this money by

William Bradford Huey, who was a writer, if

Ray would confess that he did it and did it

alone and he would give him this money and

give him a pardon and he would go on and have

a nice life.

Mr. Kershaw went over to the prison,

as you heard, asked Mr. Ray if you want to

take up this wonderful offer. Ray, of

course, said, no, and sent him packing. Some

while later a telephone -- on a telephone

conversation Huey made the same offer to

Jerry Ray. His problem then was that that

conversation was recorded. Jerry Ray

testified and you have a transcript of that

recording, he was offered now $220,000, they

greatly increased the sum of money, $220,000,

also a pardon. And the best story, of

course, that they wanted, that Huey wanted,

was the story why I killed Martin Luther


So they were offering him money, a

pardon if he would tell that story. It

didn't work. James, of course, was not


(901) 529-1999


interested in anything of the sort. James

had always only wanted, from three days after

his conviction, he had always wanted a

trial. That is what he wanted.

Then there were a number of attempts

to kill James Earl Ray. These attempts

vary. One time he escaped from Brushy

Mountain in 1977, he escaped from Brushy

Mountain with six others. No sooner did his

feet hit the ground and they were up in the

woods there -- if you know that area of

Petros, Tennessee, it is pretty rural in some

areas and rocky and hilly -- he was up in the

woods, and no sooner did he go get up in the

woods but there was an FBI SWAT team out of

the Knoxville office on the scene.

Who asked for them? It is a State

escape, State prisoner. The State is

handling it. No, here comes in the SWAT

team. They have snipers with sniper rifles.

What are they going to do with those sniper


Lewis Stokes was chairman of the

Select Committee on Assassinations. He calls


(901) 529-1999


Ray Blanton, who is a governor of the State

at the time. Reverend Fauntroy was a part of

to that conversation and said he was the one

who encouraged Stokes to call, but he was

there. Stokes calls Blanton and says that

you better get over to Brushy Mountain. If

you don't, I'm going to lose my most famous

witness and your most famous prisoner because

the FBI is going to kill him. Blanton goes

over in a helicopter and chases the FBI


They didn't what to go at first. He

told them he would put them in the same sell

James Earl Ray came out of if they didn't.

He saved James Earl Ray's life. He was

caught and brought back by local authorities,

which is the way it should have been.

The second attempt was in April of

1978. You heard April Ferguson, public

defender counsel, tell you how that worked.

She went out, interviewed a prisoner who had

called their office when April and Mark Lane

were representing James back at that time.

He was offered a contract. He was asked to


(901) 529-1999


put out a contract on James Earl Ray, and he

decided not to do it.

One, he thought he was being set up

because the person who called him left a

number and he had to call him back. When he

called had him back, he was calling him back

at an Executive Suites hotel that he knew,

the prisoner knew, was being used by the

local US Attorney's Office and the FBI where

they interviewed informants and where they

did the briefings. That's where the phone

call came from.

He thought he was being set up. The

phone call came to him from a fellow called

Arthur Wayne Baldwin, who was a Mob figure in

Memphis but who also was involved as a

federal informant and was used by the


So he gave the statement of how this

contract was put out by Baldwin on James Earl

Ray's life, and Ms. Ferguson testified as to

her affidavit.

Defendant's prior admissions, the

next section of plaintiffs' case, you've


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heard a good deal of it, how the defendant

has admitted how he was approached by

Mr. Liberto and how he was told that he would

receive a package, which he did, and money

and eventually a rifle to hold, and he told

about planning sessions in his cafe, and he

told about taking a rifle from the shooter,

taking the rifle from the shooter, one that

was still smoking, he said, taking it from

his back door.

He named the shooter as a Memphis

Police Department lieutenant, Earl Clark, who

is deceased, who was a sharpshooter who he

said was a hunting companion of his, a friend

of his, and a friend of Liberto's as well and

who never had any contact with him again

after this day.

Now, Mrs. Clark, the first wife, who

testified, gave her husband an alibi. It is

only fair that you consider what Ms. Clark

said. When I first interviewed here in

1992 -- she referred to that interview. In

fact, her son was there. He was not

twenty-two. He was born later. He was about


(901) 529-1999


sixteen. Her daughter was born in 1970. It

was the son who was present. She told

essentially the same story at that point in


There are serious questions with

that story, and they have to do with whether

or not in fact Lieutenant Clark had a radio

at all at that point in time and whether or

not in fact Dent Cleaners was open later than

six p.m. on that day. Because by her

accounts she got there sometime between

six-thirty and six-forty to pick up his

uniform. But, in any event, you have to

consider all of that.

Lastly, in respect of the

defendant's situation, we had placed a

woman -- aspects of a woman's testimony into

the record so that you can review it, and she

was a waitress who had been a lover of the

defendant during that previous year.

She very reluctantly in 1992 gave a

statement that had really to be worked out of

her. She didn't want to tell this story even

then because she was afraid that her former


(901) 529-1999


lover and boss, Mr. Jowers, was the killer.

He was the only one she saw, she said, out

there, and she was afraid that he was the

killer. Plaintiffs do not believe that to be

the case at this point in time.

She described him running, face

white as a sheet, looking like a wild man

with all mud on his knees, as though he had

been kneeling in that brush area. She has

been to some extent discredited because there

have been -- people have descended upon her

for various reasons. She was a -- a

statement of hers was taken repudiating a lot

of things she said, but she subsequently said

in another sworn statement that she didn't

even read what the state officials told her

to sign.

So in a case like this, this is a

difficult area for you to assess for

yourselves in terms of what you read and what

you have heard here.

The last area of the plaintiffs'

case has to do with damages. We've addressed

that. Members of the family have addressed


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that in terms of the spirit in which the

family has approached these proceedings from

the beginning.

Yes, we want a verdict of liability,

a verdict of a finding of conspiracy, but the

family is not interested to benefit

financially from these proceedings. There

has to be damages in civil litigation of this

sort. It is a wrongful death action. So the

request is that there be an award of one

hundred dollars to offset funeral expenses at

the time. And that one hundred dollars the

family has decided to contribute, along with

other contributions, to a welfare fund of the

sanitation workers in this city, because that

is the reason that Dr. King came here in the

first place.

Now, what I'd like to do is to

briefly take you through a visual summary, it

will be much quicker than my verbal summary,

but to take you through a visual picture of

the summary of what you have just heard in

terms of the major aspects of the plaintiffs'



(901) 529-1999


THE COURT: Does anybody need a



THE COURT: You do? All right.

Just five minutes.

(Jury out.)

(Short recess.)

THE COURT: All right, Sheriff.

Bring the jury back out, please.

(Jury in.)

THE COURT: All right,

Mr. Pepper. You may resume.

MR. PEPPER: Thank you, Your

Honor. We have a depiction of the overall

seen of the assassination at about five

forty-three, the time we've pinpointed, on

the afternoon of the assassination. Here in

this depiction we have two people on the

firehouse roof, we show two people in the

brush area at this time, a number of

witnesses down below the balcony right in


THE COURT: Mr. Pepper, excuse

me. Can you see that?


(901) 529-1999



MR. PEPPER: Am I in your way?

THE COURT: You may stand over

here, Mr. Pepper.

MR. PEPPER: There is also a

car, a Chevrolet car, parked here on Huling,

and two Mustangs on South Main Street.

You will remember Charles Hurley

testified that he drove up behind this

Mustang when he was picking his wife up. It

had Arkansas plates. This Mustang is

believed to have been James Earl Ray's.

Now, when we move ahead, we're still

at five forty-three, but it is between five

forty-three and five forty-four, Hendricks

and Reed, who have been in Jim's Grill here,

have come out and have since walked up this

street. About this time this first Mustang

has pulled off. Everything else remains the

same. You have the photographers on the

roof, you have the two figures in the brush,

who we believe to be Earl Clark and Loyd

Jowers, and you have witnesses below the

balcony over here.


(901) 529-1999


Now we're at five-fifty. The

evidence reveals that this first Mustang is

gone. The second Mustang still remains.

Photographers still remain clicking away on

the roof. The figures in the brush still

remain. The Invaders have started to leave

the hotel. They are coming down the stairs

and they are leaving at five-fifty. They

were noticed leaving. Billy Kyles, Reverend

Kyles, is right there knocking on Martin

King's door as the evidence indicates at ten

minutes to six. The witnesses are still down


At five fifty-five, the Invaders are

now off the premises, they've gone. Reverend

Kyles has come away from the door and is on

the balcony to the right of the door. The

witnesses are still below. Photographers are

still in their perch photographing. The

Chevrolet is still parked where was. And now

a Memphis Police Department traffic car has

pulled up to this intersection right here at

Mulberry and Huling. In addition to that,

about this time a rifle and an evidence


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bundle has been dropped by this figure right

here in Canipe's.

Next. Still at five fifty-five,

between five fifty-five and five fifty-six,

the Yellow taxicab has pulled into the

Lorraine driveway and is loading a

passenger. The man who has dropped the rifle

has now approached this second Mustang with

the Arkansas plates here. The figures in the

bushes are still there. The Chevrolet is

there and the taxi driver himself is standing

toward the rear of his car next. About five

fifty-six, in that area, Martin King appears

on the balcony and begins to talk to a number

of the people below who we've been calling as

witnesses. The taxi driver is still there

unloading a passenger's luggage, and the

photographers are there. The rifle remains,

but now the second Mustang moves off. The

traffic car remains in position and the

Chevrolet remains where was.

Okay. Six-oh-one p.m., April 4th,

1968, Martin Luther King has been felled by a

single shot. Everything else remains the


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same. The taxi driver is facing the brush

area. The photographers are still on the

roof of the fire station. The rifle in

evidence remains in Canipe's doorway. The

Chevrolet remains on Huling. The Memphis

traffic car remains at the intersection of

Mulberry and Huling. The figures in the

bushes at this point remain there.

Next. Instantly, between six-oh-one

and six-oh-two, immediately after the shot,

one of the two figures, and we maintain it is

the defendant, is moving toward his building

carrying the murder weapon. The other figure

in the bush, in the bushes, is going down --

appears to be at this point not going down

but appears to be alone around the edge of

the wall. The photographers are there. The

taxi driver is still there looking at the

brush area, and journalist Earl Caldwell,

having heard the shot, has come out of his


It is difficult to do this with

computers. You may recall Caldwell was in

his shorts standing there looking at the


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bushes seeing this figure in the bushes. The

traffic car remains there. Kyles remains off

to the right of the fallen Martin King

instantly after the shot. The witnesses are

there, some of whom turn toward the bushes

looking up in that direction.

Next. Also between six-oh-one and

six-two, because that's what it takes,

Mr. Jowers has entered his establishment.

The shooter has gone down over the wall and

has run toward that Memphis traffic vehicle,

car vehicle, right there. This is all

happening between six-oh-one and

six-oh-two. That's the period of time in

which this was carried out.

The taxi driver has seen the shooter

jump from the wall and run to here and get

into that traffic car. The photographers

must have photographed it. There they are.

The rifle remains. Mr. Jowers has entered

his establishment at that point in time.

Okay. Around six-oh-five, under

great pressure from his passenger, the taxi

driver actually drives away, left the


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Lorraine parking lot. The shooter, having

gotten into that traffic car, is also gone,

disappeared. That traffic car sped up

Huling, west on Huling. It is gone.

Mr. Jowers is inside his establishment, the

witnesses remain in place where they were.

Mr. Caldwell has gone back into his room to

put on his trousers.

Next. We're at about six-oh-eight.

At this point in time barricades in the form

of police cars have been established at

either end of Mulberry, thus blocking any

entrance to the street. We're at

six-oh-seven. I'm a minute ahead of myself.

We're at about six-oh-seven.

Everything else remains pretty much

the same except Journalist Caldwell has come

out of his room again and would eventually

make his way up to the balcony. Dr. King is

still down, witnesses are in place,

photographers are in place, the rifle remains

where it is, and Reverend Kyles is still on

the balcony.

Also at six-oh-seven or thereabouts


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Olivia Catling has arrived at the corner of

Mulberry and Huling. She has three children

with her. Two are hers and one is a neighbor

child. She has come to that corner just

about this time, having heard the shot from

inside her house. Everything else remains

pretty much in place with the photographers,

the witnesses and Journalist Caldwell coming

out and the rifle still at Canipe's.

Okay. About six-oh-nine we have a

man appearing in the alley. This is the

first time he has appeared. He has

apparently come from connected buildings to

the rooming house and he is now seen in the

alley. Everything else remains the same.

The barricades are in place. Mrs. Catling is


Next. He moves between this time,

within a minute, very quickly to this car

seen by Mrs. Catling and the children.

Next. He gets in the car and rips

off east on Huling, making a sharp turn going

north on Mulberry right in front of this

police barricade and proceeds unimpeded north


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on Mulberry away from the scene.

Now, at that point in time Mrs.

Catling notices a fireman who is standing in

front of the wall, and he is talking to

policemen, yelling at policemen, that the

shot came from the clump of bushes up there.

They apparently are not listening to him.

Those are the -- that's the visual

depiction of the critical events that we

wanted to put forward.

Well, ladies and gentlemen,

sometimes that is helpful to amplify the

verbal narrative. Sometimes it confuses more

than it helps. But I think we've tried to

draw this and depict it as precisely as we

can within the constraints of the actual

evidence that has been presented to you.

Let me close by saying to you that

long after people forget what has been said

in this courtroom, all the words that you've

heard from witnesses and lawyers, and long

after they have forgotten about accounts that

they have read about this case, they are

going to remember what was done here. They


(901) 529-1999


are going to remember what action you took,

what decision you came to.

You have got to understand the

monumental importance of your decision. You

are going to -- they are going to forget

everything I said, everything defense counsel

has said, everything the witnesses have

said. They are going to remember one thing,

the ruling of this jury, the verdict of this

jury because you have heard evidence that has

never before been put on in a court of law.

Some of it would have been put on in

Mr. Ray's trial, if he had ever been granted

a trial. He wasn't. It wasn't heard. Judge

Brown was on the verge of granting that

trial, on the eve, in our view, so close to

granting that trial, and then he was removed

by the Court of Appeals in this state from

the case, summarily removed. Without any

argument, any oral argument, they made that

decision. So Mr. Ray never had the trial.

He was in his dying months when he might have

gotten that trial. The Court of Appeals

finished that possibility.


(901) 529-1999


Only you have heard this. The

people in the United States of America have

not heard this. The masses of people in this

country or the world have not heard this.

They've heard snippets, they've heard edited

clips on various documentaries and programs,

but no one has heard the detailed evidence

that you have here.

That is why your decision at this

point in time is the most significant

decision that will have been taken in

thirty-one years in terms of this case.

Please don't underestimate the importance of


In our view, what has happened in

this case, the injustice that has happened in

this case, and it may be symptomatic of other

cases, we don't know -- we haven't gotten

into that, we've just focused on this

case -- but what has happened here in our

view is representative of the failure that

symbolizes to me the failure of

representative democracy in this country.

Isn't it amazing that one could say


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that over a simple murder case. But when you

look at the wealth of evidence that has come

forward and you understand how this case has

been conducted and you understand how it has

been covered up, and when you see how

unresponsive elected officials and government

has been and how complicit they have been,

you can come to no other choice.

Governmental agencies caused Martin Luther

King to be assassinated. They used other

foot soldiers. They caused this whole thing

to happen. And they then proceeded with the

powerful means at their disposal to cover

this case up.

This is a conspiracy that

involved -- and that's a nasty word. People

insult people in this country who use the

word "conspiracy." Nowhere else in the

world, as Bill Schaap told you, is it viewed

that way. In Italy and France conspiracy is

taken for granted because they have lived

with it so much longer. Remember that there

were thirty-nine daggers going into Caesar.

You know, these things do not happen


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as a rule without the involvement of other

people and in this case, this type of murder,

without the involvement of seriously

prominent individuals in government. So it

is in my view a failure of democracy and this

Republic that it has not been able to bring

this forward.

What we're asking you to do at this

point in time is send a message. We're

asking you to send a message, not just right

a wrong. That's important, that you right a

wrong and that you allow justice to prevail

once and for all. Let it prevail.

Let justice and truth prevail, elst

the heavens's fall. No matter what, let it

prevail. Let it come forward. We're asking

you to let that happen.

But in addition to that, we're

asking you to send a message, send a message

to all of those in power, all of those who

manipulate justice in this country that you

cannot get away with this. Or if you can get

away with it, you can only get away with it

for so long.


(901) 529-1999


Ultimately truth-crushed earth will

rise again, and it has risen in this

courtroom, ladies and gentlemen. Send that

message. You, you twelve, represent the

American people. You are their

representatives with respect to justice in

this case. They cannot be here. The media

will keep the truth from them forever. You

represent the people of this land. You must

speak for them.

In all of my years I've had

confidence in one institution anywhere in the

Anglo-American world, and it is a jury. It

is twelve people independently hearing

evidence and ruling. That's you. You have

this duty to yourselves, this obligation to

your fellow citizens, and you have an

opportunity to act in a most significant way

that perhaps you can ever imagine, because

your verdict of conspiracy in this case, your

verdict of liability for the defendant and

his other co-conspirators, means history is

rewritten, means textbooks have to be

rewritten, means the actual result of this


(901) 529-1999


case and the truth of this case now must come

forward formally.

This message also will be sent to

the Attorney General of the United States,

whose team are investigating in a limited

way, they say, this case. But you have heard

much more, so that is why this message is so

important. Please send it.

On behalf of the family of Martin

Luther King, Jr., on behalf of the people of

the United States, I ask you to find for the

plaintiff and find that conspiracy existed

and that those conspirators involved not only

the defendant here but we're dealing in

conspiracy with agents of the City of Memphis

and the governments of the State of Tennessee

and the United States of America.

We ask you to find that conspiracy

existed and once and for all give this

plaintiff family justice and let's cleanse

this city and this nation of the ignorance

that has pervaded this case for so long. Let

the truth reign in this courtroom once and

for all.


(901) 529-1999


Thank you very much.

THE COURT: Mr. Garrison.

MR. GARRISON: Good morning,

ladies and gentlemen. I promise you one

thing, I won't take that long. Let me say

this first of all: I've been practicing law

here starting forty years this past August,

and I think this is the most important case

to me that I've ever been associated with.

I've tried cases in this courtroom and all

over this courthouse, and I think this case

is the most important case I've ever been

associated with. I say that because it is

important to the King family, it is important

to the American way of life, important to

quality and important to history now.

Over the past few years I've met

with Ms. Coretta King and Mr. Dexter King and

the family, and they are a very lovable

family. They have gone through more than any

family should have to go through and simply

because of the color of their skin, because

Dr. King simply was seeking equality and

equal rights. And if our Constitution means


(901) 529-1999


anything, it means that is for everybody.

Now, Dr. Pepper has pursued this

case for years. He is like a bulldog on your

trousers. You just can't shake him loose,

you can't shake him off. If it wasn't for

him, we wouldn't be here today. He and I

have many areas of agreement, but we have

many areas of disagreement. I want to point

those out you to now.

First of all, let me say this: I

told you at the beginning that anything that

Mr. Jowers had to do with this was very, very

minute and small. I think the proof fairly

shows that.

Here is a man who had a greasy-spoon

restaurant, a beer joint, to put it bluntly,

that was there in a place where he had been

dealing with a Mr. Liberto, and perhaps those

things weren't the way they should be, but he

is not on trial for that. He simply said

that I had handled money for Mr. Liberto

previously and that here again he asked me to

handle some money.

He said he was going to send a box


(901) 529-1999


to him. I didn't know what it was. He said

that the money came in and the box came in

and that he said someone would pick up the

box and you be at the back door at six

o'clock and something would be handed to

you. He says I didn't know anything.

Now, he met with Mr. Dexter King and

Ambassador Young freely and voluntarily at

his own expense, his own time. He told them

what limited information he had about this.

He was very honest with them and very sincere

in telling them what he knew about this case,

which was very limited.

He told Dexter King, which Mr. King

admitted here, that he said I didn't know

anything about this as far as it being Dr.

King that would be the target of

assassination, I had no knowledge of that.

He said, I apologize to you for

anything that I may have done that would

cause the death of your father, but I had no

idea, no knowledge, it was just simply

something I was doing and had been doing

previously, it wasn't any different from the


(901) 529-1999


other things.

Now, ladies and gentlemen, it is

ironic to note here that there is only one

person that has placed any blame on

Mr. Jowers as far as being there doing

anything. That's Ms. Spates. You've heard

her testimony. You've heard an affidavit

read to you that she gave to the prosecutors

of the City of Memphis, their investigators.

She first tried to say that

Mr. Jowers was there and she saw him and all

this thing about him being white and so forth

and so on, but she came back and in an

exhibit here that you have a right to see

said I wasn't even there, I was at work that

day, I didn't see anything, because I didn't

see Mr. Jowers with a gun, I never saw

anything, I was at work that day.

Which version do you believe? This

is a sworn statement, a sworn statement under

oath she gave to the prosecutors. It is

saying I wasn't even there. So which version

do you believe of Ms. Spates?

She first tried to say she had been


(901) 529-1999


offered some money by Mr. Jowers and even by

me. Yet the first thing I asked her in her

testimony is -- I had never seen the lady but

twice in my life -- Ms. Spates, isn't it true

you have never been offered any money, we

never even talked about any money? She said,

that's exactly right.

She goes on to say, I was never

offered any money. So you have Ms. Spates,

who is the only person that said anything

about Mr. Jowers' involvement in this, and

which version do you believe? Do you believe

that she told the truth one time or the other

time? Both of them were under oath.

Now, as far as Mr. McCraw, I knew

Mr. McCraw, represented him for years. The

thing about Mr. McCraw is that as Mr. Hamblin

said, you couldn't believe a thing he said.

That's his best friend, he got on the stand

and said you couldn't believe a word he


Mr. Jowers played a very, very

insignificant and minor role in this if he

played anything at all. He stated because of


(901) 529-1999


who he has come forth and said, that he has

lost his wife, everything he has and his

health. So he played a very insignificant,

very small role, if anything in this thing.

It was much bigger than Mr. Jowers, who owned

a little greasy-spoon restaurant there and

happened to be at the location that he was.

Now, ladies and gentlemen, I guess

the area of disagreement between Dr. Pepper

and myself for the most part is this: It is

Mr. James Earl Ray's part in this case.

Let's look at this. You know, you have Mr.

Ray here, who was a convict who spent

ninety-nine and nine-tenths of his life in

prison, who would do anything for money.

He'd rob, take a gun, steal, do anything for

money. He enjoyed his notoriety as the most

famous prisoner this state has ever known.

He enjoyed that. That was a big thing with


Here he was let out of prison in a

bread truck. If you saw the poster here

that's an exhibit, fifty dollars reward. Big

reward for him, wasn't it, for a man. He


(901) 529-1999


came and talked Dr. King. Don't you think it

is ironic he was in Atlanta, Chicago, Los

Angeles, Memphis, Tennessee, when Dr. King

was there, Selma, Alabama, little town of

Selma when Dr. King was there?

Don't you think it is ironic that

there was a map that they found when he was

in Atlanta where he circled Dr. King's home,

his church, his place of business? I asked

him on the deposition -- I know the

deposition was long and burdensome to you,

but I want you to hear what he said. He has

told a thousand and one stories. This was

his last one. This is number one thousand

and one. As far as I know, it is the last

time he ever told his story and testified.

It is ironic that he had a map of

Atlanta with these three markings. He had

never been to Memphis, never been to

Birmingham, never been to New Orleans, no

maps. But a map of Atlanta was found in his

car which admitted had the circle around Dr.

King's home, his place of business and Dr.

King's church.


(901) 529-1999


Now, the State of Tennessee says

that James Earl Ray acted and acted alone. I

think there is some validity to that. I

don't agree with everything they say, but I

think there is some validity to it. Mr. Ray,

when I asked him how did you know that Dr.

King had been assassinated, he said, I heard

it on the news. I had just gone through a

whole series of questions where he said, I

never listened to the news. I said, didn't

you know they had riots in Memphis, didn't

you know there was someone killed there? He

said, I never listened to the news. Five

minutes after Dr. King was killed, yeah, I

heard it on the news. I think Mr. Ray's

testimony speaks for itself.

He goes in and buys a gun he says

from somebody named Raul that asked him to

do this, but he gets a gun that Raul says --

first of all, Raul didn't tell him to get a

scope. He got that on his own. He didn't

tell him to get a scope on a rifle. He goes

in and says, I want another gun, this is not

the right gun, Raul told me to do this, but


(901) 529-1999


he never showed the gun to Raul. Was there

really a Raul? Maybe there was. Isn't it

ironic that for months no one ever saw him

with Mr. Ray, no one, no one.

Now, when you take all the testimony

here from Mr. Ray and all the scenarios and

the things that happened, it makes you

wonder, did Mr. Ray do this? Dr. Francisco

says, I was taken up to the window there

where the shot was supposed to have come from

and I saw the path of the bullet. In my

opinion, it came from that window sill. This

is a medical examiner saying that.

Ladies and gentlemen, last year the

Attorney General's Office here concluded a

five-year investigation, five years, and this

is a report of theirs. Don't decide this

case without reading this report. It is an

exhibit. You can read it. Don't decide the

case without seeing this. It wouldn't be

fair to anyone if you didn't. They concluded

that there is no proof here that anyone acted

in this case except Mr. Ray that was



(901) 529-1999


Now, you know, you wonder sometimes

why people tell things, and you've got to

think about, well, is that -- what are the

circumstances? Because in March of 1969,

here again is an exhibit which you need to

read before deciding this case, Mr. Ray was

asked by Judge Battle, "Are you pleading

guilty to murder in the first degree in this

case because you killed Dr. Martin Luther

King under such circumstances that would make

you legally guilty of murder in the first

degree under the law as explained to you by

your lawyers? Answer, yes."

Now, ladies and gentlemen, I think

under the circumstances, if you remember

former Congressman Fountroy here said -- I

asked him, why did the committee conclude

that Mr. Ray was the assassin? What was his

answer? He said because he kept changing his

story. Do you remember that? That's the

testimony he gave here, a gentleman who was

in charge of the congressional committee.

This went on for weeks and weeks and

weeks. They spent money, untold sums of


(901) 529-1999


money to investigate this case. They

concluded that Mr. Ray was the one who pulled

the trigger, was the one who did the


Now, let me say this: After

spending several years with this case and

talking to many, many witnesses, listening to

this trial and taking many depositions, you

can't help but wonder about things. You've

got to wonder from this standpoint: Would

the restaurant owner of a greasy-spoon

restaurant and a lone assassin, could they

pull away officers from the scene of an

assassination? Could they change rooms?

Could they put someone up on top of the fire

station? A convict and a greasy-spoon

restaurant owner, could they do that?

You know, when this trial started,

there are two people mentioned in this guilty

plea who are still living. I talked to them

and issued subpoenas for them to be here who

are prosecutors to explain you to ladies and

gentlemen as to why there wasn't more done to

investigate this case. Mr. Ray tried several


(901) 529-1999


times, seven, eight, nine times, to get a

trial the Court of Appeals, the Supreme

Court, never granted it. He was turned down

that many times.

Why didn't they test the gun? I

don't know. It doesn't make sense to me.

You know, that would have ended this case if

they had tested the gun. There is DNA --

they can use means now to test these guns.

They could find out if they wanted to. Why

wasn't that done? I don't understand.

I've never understood as to why the

prosecutors and the Attorney General, if they

really wanted to end this case and solve it,

why didn't they test the gun. That would

have told us whether or not Mr. Ray -- that

was the gun that did it with his fingerprints

on it or was it another gun. It was never

done. They fought it and fought it and

fought it.

I talked to two prosecutors who

agreed to be here to testify, who had

subpoenas to be here. The day before

yesterday, without you knowing, the Court of


(901) 529-1999


Appeals said, no, you can't bring them in.

They turned us down again. That's the same

thing we've had over and over and over.

Now, ladies and gentlemen, it is

ironic in this case that when the extradition

proceedings were started against Mr. Ray,

that it was to try to extradite him for

conspiracy to murder. That was the first

thing the United States government tried to

extradite Mr. Ray for, was conspiracy to


You know, when you stop and

rationalize this case and think, there has to

be more to it than a greasy-spoon restaurant

owner and an escaped convict. They could not

have arranged these things. They could not

have done those things.

Mr. Arkin testified here that one

hour before the assassination, or a couple

hours, there was a man that came in from

Washington, sent in here from Washington

saying Mr. Redditt has had a threat on his

life and you've got to go get him. Could a

greasy-spoon operator and escaped convict


(901) 529-1999


arrange for that? You know that's not the

case. And I do, too. Anyone who can think

knows better than that.

Mr. Arkin also said there were

officers from the United States government in

his office. Why were they here? What were

they doing here? They were sent here by the

United States government.

Now, ladies and gentlemen, we've had

problems with race in Memphis, and I'm sorry

to say that I must talk about it to some

extent. It has been said by a person who was

very knowledgeable that we have the most

serious racial divisions in Memphis of any

city in this nation, and that's bad, that's

terrible. We've got to live together and

learn to live together and to know that we

are all brothers and sisters. It shouldn't

be this way. It shouldn't be that we should

have this type racism and the type problems

we have.

In this case you have the

opportunity to speak. You'll speak in your

verdict in case that will either say one of


(901) 529-1999


two things: That we know that there was a

conspiracy here, we know that they didn't

intend for Dr. King to go to Washington to

march, and we know that the United States

government, the FBI and the Memphis Police

Department and other government agencies

along with Mr. Liberto and Mr. Earl Clark and

Mr. James Earl Ray were involved in this

case, and that's the type verdict that I

would ask you to consider.

You told me at the beginning you

weren't afraid to let the chips fall where

they may. I gather from that that you are

not afraid of the United States government,

you are not afraid of the Memphis Police

Department. If they are liable, you are

going to say they are. Am I correct? Isn't

that what we agreed to?

I think the testimony here that

you've heard and the proof that you've heard

indicates clearly there is more than just

Mr. Jowers involved. He was a small-time

greasy-spoon cafe operator who played a very

small insignificant part in this case, if


(901) 529-1999



If you will study over the reports

I've provided for you and the exhibits, think

about all the testimony that has been given

here and what really happened, ladies and

gentlemen, your verdict would have to be that

the United States government, the FBI, the

Memphis Police Department and others were

involved in this conspiracy to murder Dr.


It is a shameful, terrible thing

that happened here in Memphis. I'm sorry and

apologize to Mr. King that it did, but think

about it. It is a very serious matter.

You'll never have a more serious opportunity

to sit on a jury than this where the issues

are more serious than this.

Whatever you say will be recorded in

history, and this will be it. We expect this

case to end after this. It has been going on

for years, but we think it is going to end

with your decision in this case.

Please give it serious consideration

and please think about a judgment against


(901) 529-1999


others besides Mr. Jowers. He played a very

small part, you know he did, in this case.

Think about the other part that Mr. Ray

played, Mr. Liberto played. You've got

testimony here from a witness that is

uncontradicted saying that Mr. Liberto told

me he had Martin Luther King assassinated.

Go over it. Think about it. Read over it.

There is only one thing to do,

that's to say that we, the jury, find that

the United States government, FBI, State of

Tennessee, Mr. Liberto, Mr. James Earl Ray,

they were all involved in a conspiracy to

murder Dr. Martin Luther King. That's the

only decision you can make.

Thank you.

MR. PEPPER: I didn't realize I

was going to have to try Mr. James Earl Ray's

guilt or innocence in this courtroom, but

counsel has raised it, so I should address

some of the issues.

Mr. Ray had a habit of marking

maps. I have in my possession maps that he

marked when he was in Texas, Montreal and


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Atlanta, and what he did was it helped him to

locate what he did and where he was going.

The Atlanta map is nowhere related to Dr.

King's residence.

It is three oblong circles that

covered general areas, one where he was

living on Peachtree. He did this. He did

this up in Montreal at the Neptune Bar, did

this in Texas when he was going down to

Mexico and Laredo. It was a habit that James

had. The maps are part of his practice, if

you will.

James never stalked Martin Luther

King. James was moved from place to place on

instructions. He was told to go somewhere

and he would go. He was given to some money,

told to come to New Orleans and he would be

given money.

James Earl Ray was in Los Angeles

and was told to go to New Orleans. When

Martin Luther King came to Los Angeles, James

Earl Ray left. He was there first and he

left. He didn't stay in Los Angeles. That

was the time he left for Atlanta when Martin


(901) 529-1999


came there in March.

He was in Atlanta when Martin King

was there part of the time, but Dr. King was

in and out of Atlanta a great deal of the

time. So he would have to be there some of

the time. He was not in Selma when Martin

King was in Selma. That is a myth. He

didn't stalk Dr. King. There was no reason

to stalk him.

He wasn't in New York when he was in

New York. He wasn't in Florida when he was

in Florida. He wasn't in Chicago when Martin

King was in Chicago. He worked in Wanetka,

Illinois, for a period of time.

He wasn't in prison ninety-nine

percent of his time. Before James Earl Ray

went into the Army, he held down jobs. When

came out, he held down jobs. When he got

fired, that's when he started to get in

trouble. He went and hung out in bars

occasionally and somebody would suggest a

good idea about how to get some money. So

James fell into it. He was, rightly as

Mr. Garrison says, was a penny-ante crook.


(901) 529-1999


That's really what it came down to.

He knew nothing about firearms. The

man who sold him the rifle, Donald Woods,

said he never saw a person who new less about

firearms than James Earl Ray. Never saw a

person who knew less about firearms.

He used to carry a pistol. When he

would stick up a store, he would carry a

pistol, and he had five bullets in the

pistol. I asked him, James, why would you

have five bullets in the pistol, why not

six? He always kept the firing pin chamber


He was embarrassed to tell me.

Finally I got it out of him. One time

literally he shot himself in the foot. It

was an accident and the gun went off. He

decided if he kept the firing pin chamber

empty, that wouldn't happen. He only had

five bullets. When he was arrested at

Heathrow in London, that gun he was carrying

had only five bullets.

He was somebody who was capable of

being used for a crime like this. He was


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someone who was gullible in a lot of ways.

He was someone who needed money. He was on

the run when he was concerned and he was

someone that could be used. And he was used,

and being used, he was told only what he

needed to know. Because that's the way those

things operate. Once he came under the

control of this fellow, he would be told

where to go, what to do, only what he needed

to know.

He bought the wrong gun. He bought

a 243 Winchester. Raul said, no, he wanted

a 30-06. He pointed it out to him in a

brochure and he went back and got it. The

very fact that he bought a gun and then went

around and immediately exchanged it indicates

that somebody is involved, somebody is

controlling him or telling him to do

something. So he did that.

Yes, he heard about the

assassination on the radio, heard it on the

car radio. He came back around to go to park

the car on South Main Street the way Raul

instructed him. At the time he came back


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around, the police were all over the place.

He is an escaped convict. He is not thinking

of Martin Luther King or anything else. He

is thinking of being an escaped convict and

being stopped. So he takes off. That's

exactly what he did. He took off.

And he did hear about this on the

radio. The more he drove, the more he

listened to the radio, the more he realized

he was in serious trouble.

One of the problems James Earl Ray

faced and lawyers for him faced was the fact

that he was a classic con. If he believed

someone was trying to help him, he wouldn't

tell, he wouldn't name that person, wouldn't

tell you who the person was. By my view, he

mistakenly believed he was being helped,

particularly when he was in Canada. But he

would never tell us who was assisting him

because he thought these were people who were

legitimately trying to help him and he was

not going to rat on them.

When he was captured after one

prison escape and he was asked continually to


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explain how he got out, how he managed to get

away, he refused to tell them. When I pushed

him on it, how did it happen, he said, well,

the guard was asleep, the guard fell asleep.

I said, why didn't you tell me that? He

said, no, no, I might need him again another

day. Even in that case he wouldn't tell.

So Ray was that kind of character.

I looked at him from 1978 to 1988, only began

to represent him in 1988. Ten years after I

started on this case I consented to represent

James Earl Ray when I became totally

convinced after ten years of looking at the

evidence that he had no knowing involvement.

He pled guilty because that was the

thing to do. Mr. Garrison read to you the

response to the judge. What he left out was

the fact that Ray said, yes, legally guilty,

legally guilty. He was legally because he

was copping a plea, so he was legally

guilty. He never confessed. The media has

always said he confessed, the confessed

killer. He never confessed.

He always insisted that he didn't do


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it, always wanted a trial. When he fired the

Haynes, Foreman came in. December 18th

Foreman came on this case, formally into

Memphis for the first time for a hearing.

Two p.m. that afternoon Foreman's local

counsel was in meeting with the prosecutor.

Two p.m., December 18th, we have the minutes

of the meeting, the local attorney was

meeting with the prosecutor, Canale, to start

plea-bargaining negotiations. Imagine that,

without any knowledge of Ray at all.

On February 21 he was writing to his

brother that I expect a trial to start

perhaps in April. That late they had been

stitching him up all that time beforehand.

Finally Foreman comes down on him and says

that you've got to plead guilty, they are

going to fry your ass, they convicted you in

the paper, they are going to send your father

back where he was a parole violator forty

years ago, they are going to harass the rest

of your family and, besides, Foreman said,

I'm not in good health and I can't give you

your best defense.


(901) 529-1999


That was the thing that James said

always, he had to get rid of that lawyer and

didn't think the judge would change him, so

he said to him to plead, which he did on

March 10th, and then I'll get a new trial.

The motion was denied on March 13th, and he

tried ever since.

He filed motions. The judge died.

Judge Battle died with his head on James Earl

Ray's application for a new trial, died in

his chambers with his head on those papers at

the end of March. James was denied that


When a sitting judge dies, normally

such a case when a motion is pending, it is

granted. There were two motions pending

before that judge. One was granted. One was

not. James Earl Ray remained in prison.

I mean, I didn't intend to belabor

Mr. Ray's innocence, but I believe firmly he

is innocent, he was an unknowing patsy in

this case and he was used.

As far as Ms. Spates' testimony, I

did refer to it earlier. The statement that


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you heard read under oath in her deposition

were paragraphs specifically from an

affidavit that she had given subsequently to

her interview by the TBI and the Attorney

General's Office here. And from what she

told me, that was a horrifically-pressured

interview that they gave her, was distorted,

inaccurate, untruthful, and that's why she

gave that other story. And she reluctantly

put Mr. Jowers right in the middle of it.

Now, having said all of that,

Mr. Garrison is quite right, you can read the

Attorney General's report. Take a look at

it. Remember one thing when you take a look

at it. The man who headed that investigation

sat there. He was one of the witnesses

Mr. Garrison called that we were able to

examine before the Court of Appeals said you

are not going to talk to any of those


Mr. Glankler sat in that chair. I

just gave him a sampling of names, gave him

twenty-three names. Do you recall that? I

asked him if he interviewed these people in


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his investigation, these witnesses with vital

evidence that you've heard, twenty-three.

Do you know how many he actually

interviewed? I recall I think it was two.

That's the investigation the Attorney

General's Office did. That just speaks for

itself, in my view. So I would look at the

report in that kind of context.

As to the House Select Committee

investigation, Representative Fountroy is

very uncomfortable with the results of that

investigation, very unhappy, has been for a

number of years. He has indicated that they

didn't have enough time, they could have

perhaps done better if they had more time.

At other times he said the staff he thinks

misled them. Fountroy was never happy with

the results of that investigation. And I

think he has made that quite clear.

Raul, the evidence on Raul speaks

for itself. Mr. Jowers himself has

identified Raul. Mr. Jowers identified

Raul from the spread of photographs that I

showed him when Dexter King and I met. He


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knows who Raul was. He identified him as

the man who came into the restaurant who

Liberto sent in.

Now, one thing Mr. Garrison and I do

agree on -- we agree on a lot of things,

actually, but one thing in particular is that

Mr. Jowers is a small part of this whole

thing. He owned this cafe, and he did have a

debt, an obligation, to Mr. Liberto, and he

was prevailed upon to become involved in this

assassination. He didn't go out looking for

it. He was prevailed upon to be involved.

I'm not really certain about how

much money he got for his involvement. I

think he got a substantial amount of money.

I think that is what the stove money was all

about. But I'm not certain of that. We will

never know that, I suppose.

Mr. Jowers has unburdened himself to

the King family. He has -- it is late in his

life. And for whatever reason, he has come

forward and he has, as Mr. Garrison has told

you, voluntarily told elements of the story.

We believe that that is what he has done.


(901) 529-1999


He has just told elements of the

story protecting himself to the extent that

he can because he is worried about being

ultimately indicted. We think foolishly so

because we don't think there is any interest

in that, but that is his fear.

What, however, we don't believe is

that Mr. Jowers was unknowingly involved.

We've put into evidence the Prime Time Live

interview with Sam Donaldson, and in that

interview and in the transcript of that it is

very clear -- he tells different nuances of

the story, but it is very clear that he knew

what was going on, he knew what was


Both Ambassador Young and Dexter

King have said the one thing they didn't

believe about him is when he said he didn't

know. You can understand why he would say

that, because he is talking to the son of

Martin Luther King, Jr., the son of the

victim is sitting right in front of him. How

does he -- with eyes together how does he

say, I knew, I was a part of this, I was a


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knowing part of it? So he said, I don't

know. We just don't believe that.

And we believe the evidence of Bill

Hamblin, who said McCraw told him what

happened to that rifle, but he told him when

he was drunk over a period of fifteen years

each time. It might be very right that

McCraw would lie when he was sober. But when

he was drunk, Hamblin said, you may recall,

he was straight, he told him the truth, and

he told him the same detail again and again

and again. If he had been sober and he would

tell him one story and then another, then you

would say there was some prevarication, maybe

it was not true, but Hamblin said it was the

same story again and again and again but only

would discuss it when he was intoxicated.

On the basis of all of that, we

believe that Mr. Hamblin is telling the

truth, that that murder weapon is at the

bottom of the Mississippi River where it was

thrown by Mr. McCraw.

So that is basically it, ladies and

gentlemen. I think that you have to keep in


(901) 529-1999


mind that no matter how small the part

Mr. Jowers played in this whole sorry

episode, he nonetheless played a part and is

a conspirator. He is guilty, libel in this

court. He is libel in this court of

conspiracy because he was involved.

Irrespective of James Earl Ray, and

I believe in respect of James' memory -- he

is not here to defend himself, but I had to

give you information about him -- but

irrespective of that, even if you found that

James was involved and up to his neck, that

does not absolve Mr. Loyd Jowers, neither

does it absolve the governments and the

government agents who have been involved in

this case.

So a verdict of an existence of

conspiracy, as Mr. Garrison said, quite

rightly, does mean that there is a

conspiracy, and it involves all of the

elements that you have seen here today, and

the award of damages, nominal though it is,

is to be -- is also to be a part of your



(901) 529-1999


Thank you very much. Once again,

please, we're asking you to send this message

from this courtroom across the land. Though

they will not know the details of what you

have heard probably ever, unless researchers

want to come in and read all of this, they

will not be able at least to suppress the

mighty Whirlitzer sound of your verdict.

That's the message that we ask you

to send from this courtroom to the rest of

this country and indeed the world who are

concerned about the assassination of Martin

Luther King and his loss to civilized


Thank you.

THE COURT: All right. Ladies

and gentlemen, in this case the plaintiffs,

Coretta Scott King, Martin Luther King, III,

Bernice King, Dexter Scott King and Yolonda

King have sued Loyd Jowers and other unknown

conspirators alleging that the defendant

Jowers was a participant in a conspiracy to

do harm, and that as a result of that

conspiracy that harm was done to Dr. Martin


(901) 529-1999


Luther King, that is, that he was killed in

the process.

To that, the Defendant Loyd Jowers,

has pleaded not guilty or said he is not

guilty of the things alleged. In the

alternative, Mr. Jowers has also alleged that

if he was involved, it was a very minute or

small part of the conspiracy and that in

addition to his conduct, that there was also

additional participants, namely James Earl

Ray, the Government of the United States of

America, the Government of the State of

Tennessee, City of Memphis, the Memphis

Police Department, the Government of Shelby

County, Tennessee, and that his was only a

minor part, and he also alleges that there

was participation on the part of Frank

Liberto and Earl Clark.

Now, ladies and gentlemen, I'll give

you my instructions, which you should

consider when you are deliberating. You are

to decide this case only from the evidence

which was presented at this trial. The

evidence consists of the sworn testimony of


(901) 529-1999


the witnesses who have testified, both in

person and by deposition, the exhibits that

were received and marked as evidence, any

facts to which all the lawyers have agreed

are stipulated and any other matters that I

have instructed you to consider.

There are two kinds of evidence:

Direct and circumstantial. Direct evidence

is direct proof of a fact such as testimony

of a witness about what the witness

personally observed. Circumstantial evidence

is indirect evidence that gives you clues

about what happened.

Circumstantial evidence is proof of

a factor a group of facts that causes you to

conclude that another fact exists. It is for

you to decide whether a fact has been proved

by circumstantial evidence.

If you base your decision upon

circumstantial evidence, you must be

convinced that the conclusion you reach is

more probable than any other explanation.

For example, if a witness testifies

that a witness saw it raining outside, that


(901) 529-1999


would be direct evidence that it was

raining. If a witness testifies that the

witness saw someone enter the room wearing a

raincoat covered with drops of water carrying

a wet umbrella, that would be circumstantial

evidence from which you could conclude that

it was raining.

You are to consider both direct and

circumstantial evidence. The law permits you

to give equal weight to both, but it is for

you to decide how much weight to give any

evidence in making your decision.

You must consider all of the

evidence in light of reason, experience and

common sense. Although you must consider all

of the evidence, you are not required to

accept all of the evidence as true or


You should not decide an issue by

the simple process of counting the number of

witnesses who have testified on either side.

You must consider all of the evidence in the

case. You may decide that the testimony of a

few witnesses on one side is more convincing


(901) 529-1999


than the testimony of more witnesses on the

other side.

Certain testimony has been presented

by deposition. A deposition is testimony

taken under oath before the trial and

preserved in writing or on videotape. You

are to consider that testimony as if it had

been given in court. You are the sole and

exclusive judges of the credibility or

believability of the witnesses who have

testified in this case.

You must decide which witnesses you

believe and how important you think their

testimony is. You are not required to accept

or reject everything a witness says. You are

free to believe all, none or part of any


In deciding which testimony you

believe, you should rely on your common sense

and every-day experience. There is no fixed

set of rules to use in deciding whether you

believe a witness, but it may help you to

think about the following questions: Was the

witness able to see, hear or be aware of the


(901) 529-1999


things about which the witness testified?

How well was the witness able to recall and

describe these things? How long was the

witness watching or listening? Was the

witness distracted in any way?

Did the witness have a good memory?

How did the witness look and act while

testifying? Was the witness making an honest

effort to tell the truth or did the witness

evade questions? Did the witness have any

interest in the outcome of the case? Did the

witness have any motive, bias or prejudice

that would influence the witness' testimony?

How reasonable was the witness'

testimony when you considered all of the

evidence in the case? Was the witness'

testimony contradicted by what the witness

has said or done at another time or the

testimony of other witnesses or by other

evidence? Has there been evidence regarding

the witness' intelligence, respectability or

reputation for truthfulness? Has the

witness' testimony been influenced by any

promise, threat or suggestion and did the


(901) 529-1999


witness admit that any part of the witness'

testimony was not true.

There may be discrepancies or

differences within a witness' testimony or

between the testimony of different

witnesses. This does not necessarily mean

that a witness should be disbelieved.

Sometimes when two people observe an

event, they will see or hear it differently.

Sometimes a witness may have a lapse of

memory. Witnesses may testify honestly but

simply may be wrong about what they thought

they saw or remembered.

You should consider whether a

discrepancy relates to an important fact or

only to an unimportant detail. Usually

witnesses are permitted to testify as --

usually witnesses are not permitted to

testify as to opinions or to conclusions.

However, a witness who has scientific,

technical or other specialized knowledge,

skill, experience, training or education may

be permitted to give testimony in the form of

opinions. Those witnesses are often referred


(901) 529-1999


to as expert witnesses.

You may remember that Judge Joe

Brown came in and was qualified as an expert

in firearms. You should determine the weight

that should be given to an expert opinion.

You should consider the education,

qualification and experience of the witness

and the credibility of the witness and the

facts relied upon by the witness to support

the opinion and the reasoning used by the

witness to arrive at the opinion.

You should consider each expert

opinion and give it the weight, if any, that

you think it deserves. You are not required

to accept the opinion of any expert.

The defendant in this case, Loyd

Jowers, is accused of conspiracy. Conspiracy

is an agreement to perform an illegal act.

In order to establish an action for civil

conspiracy, there must be a combination

between two or more persons to accomplish by

concert an unlawful purpose or to accomplish

a purpose not in itself unlawful by unlawful



(901) 529-1999


In connection with concerted action,

it is not essential that each conspirator had

knowledge of all the details of the

conspiracy, but there must be an overt act.

When this act occurs, it is not necessary

that the party is aware of the nature of the

harm to be done or the person against whom

the harm will be done. It is not a defense

that someone else may have played a greater

part than another.

Neither is it your responsibility to

identify other co-conspirators if you find

that they do exist. It is no defense that

someone else might have played a role or

possibly a greater role than Loyd Jowers.

Also remember the question is not

whether Loyd Jowers conspired with James Earl

Ray. The question is did Jowers conspire

with anyone in a scheme that brought harm to

Dr. Martin Luther King.

In this case suit has been brought

for damages alleging that an illegal act

occurred causing the death of Dr. Martin

Luther King. In this action the plaintiff


(901) 529-1999


has the burden of establishing by a

preponderance of evidence all of the facts

necessary to prove the following issue: That

is, that Loyd Jowers conspired with others

who are not parties to this action to commit

an act which resulted in the harm to Dr.

Martin Luther King.

The term "preponderance of the

evidence" means that amount of evidence that

causes you to conclude that an allegation is

probably true. To prove an allegation by a

preponderance of evidence, a party must

convince you that the allegation is more

likely true than not true.

If the evidence on a particular

issue is equally balanced, that issue has not

been proved by a preponderance of the

evidence and the party has the burden of

proving that issue -- the party that has the

burden of proving that issue has failed.

You must consider all of the

evidence on each issue. A stipulation is an

agreement. If the parties have stipulated

that certain matters of fact are true, they


(901) 529-1999


are bound by this -- if they so stipulate,

they are bound by this agreement, and in your

consideration of the evidence, you are to

treat these facts as proved.

The parties have stipulated that

should you find that they are entitled to

recover in this case, that the dollar amount

should not exceed one hundred dollars.

Members of the jury, now that you

have heard all of the evidence and the

arguments of the lawyers, it is my duty to

instruct you on the law that applies in this

case. It is your duty to find the facts from

all of the evidence in the case.

After you determine the facts, you

must apply the law that has been given to you

whether you agree with it or not. You must

not be influenced by any personal likes or

dislikes, prejudice or sympathy. You must

decide the case solely on the evidence before

you and according to the law that is given to


All of the instructions are equally

important. The order in which these


(901) 529-1999


instructions are given has no significance.

You must follow all of the instructions and

not single out some and ignore the others.

In reaching your verdict, you may

consider only the evidence that was

admitted. Remember that any questions or

objections, statements or arguments by the

attorneys during the trial are not evidence.

If the attorneys have stipulated or agreed to

any fact, however, you will regard that fact

as having been proved.

The testimony that you've been

instructed to disregard is not evidence and

must not be considered. If evidence has been

received only for a limited purpose, you must

follow the limited instructions you were


Although you must only consider the

evidence in this case in reaching your

verdict, you are not required to set aside

your common knowledge. You are permitted to

weigh the evidence in light of your common

sense, observations and experiences.

The Court has given you various


(901) 529-1999


rules of law to help guide you to a just and

lawful verdict. Whether some of these

instructions will apply will depend upon what

you decide are the facts.

The Court's instructions on any

subject, including the instructions on

damages, must not be taken by you to indicate

the Court's opinion or the facts that you

should find or the verdict you should


You have taken notes during the

trial. Once you retire to the jury room, you

may refer to your notes, but only to refresh

your own memory of the witness' testimony.

You are free to discuss the

testimony of the witnesses with your fellow

jurors, but each of you must rely on your own

individual memory as to what a witness did or

did not say.

In discussing the testimony, you may

not read your notes to fellow jurors or

otherwise tell them what you have written.

You should never use your notes to persuade

or influence other jurors. Your notes are


(901) 529-1999


not evidence. Your notes should carry no

more weight than the unrecorded recollection

of another juror.

Your attitude and conduct at the

beginning of your deliberations are very

important. It is rarely productive for a

juror to immediately announce a determination

to hold firm for a certain verdict before any

deliberations or discussions take place.

Taking that position might make it

difficult for you to consider the opinions of

other fellow jurors or change your mind even

if you later decide that you might be wrong.

Please remember that you are not

advocates for one party or another. You are

the judges of the facts in this case. Each

of you should deliberate and vote on each

issue to be decided. Before you return your

verdict, however, each of you must agree on

the verdict to be reached so that each of you

will be able to state truthfully that the

verdict is yours.

The verdict you return to the Court

must represent the considered judgment of


(901) 529-1999


each juror. In order to return a verdict, it

is necessary that each juror agree that your

verdict must be unanimous.

It is your duty to consult with one

another and to reach an agreement if you can

do so without violence to individual


Each of you must decide the case for

yourself, but do so only after an impartial

consideration of the evidence with your

fellow jurors.

In the course of your deliberations,

do not hesitate to reexamine your own views

and to change your opinion if you are

convinced that it is not correct. But do not

surrender your honest conviction as to the

weight or effect of the evidence solely

because of the opinion of your fellow jurors

or for the purpose of returning a verdict.

If a question arises during

deliberations and you need further

instructions, please print the question on a

sheet of paper, knock on the door of the jury

room and give the question to my court


(901) 529-1999


deputy. I'll read the question and I may

call you back into the court to try to help

you. Please understand that I may only

answer questions about the law and I cannot

answer questions about the evidence.

For your benefit, I have prepared a

jury verdict sheet. Let me remind you that

although certainly the life of Dr. Martin

Luther King would certainly be more than a

hundred dollars, you are not called upon to

assess a real value in this case. The

parties are only seeking nominal damages.

So that if you find at all for the

plaintiffs, again I'll remind you that you

cannot award any more than what they are

asking for.

Now, in the Circuit Court, it is a

court of unlimited jurisdiction, and there is

no limit to the amount that can be recovered,

millions, whatever, but you can in any case

only award the amount that is being asked or

less. You can never give more than the party

has asked for. So remember that there is a

one hundred dollar limit on the request in


(901) 529-1999


this case.

The jury verdict reads as follows:

Did Loyd Jowers participate in a conspiracy

to do harm to Dr. Martin Luther King? And

there is a space for you to answer yes or


I have an additional question: Do

you also find -- assuming that your answer to

the first one is yes, and I'm not suggesting

an answer to that one, but should -- if you

find that the first one is no, then that's

the end of your deliberations. But if your

answer to the first question is yes, then the

question is asked, do you also find that

others, including governmental agencies, were

parties to this conspiracy as alleged by the

defendant? Again, there are places for you

to answer yes or no.

And a third question is put to you:

What is the total amount of damages to be

awarded to the plaintiffs Coretta Scott King,

Martin Luther King, III, Bernice King, Dexter

Scott King and Yolonda King? There is a

blank here where if you would find for them,


(901) 529-1999


again I'll remind you that the total amount

should not exceed four hundred dollars.

Anything further?

MR. GARRISON: I have nothing

further, Your Honor.

THE COURT: All right, ladies

and gentlemen. You will now retire and

select one of you to be the presiding juror

for your deliberations.

As soon as all of you have agreed

upon a verdict, you will sign the verdict

form and return with it to this courtroom.

You may deliberate only when all of

you are present in the jury room. And you

may not resume your deliberations after any

break until all of you have returned to the

jury room, that is to say, you can never

discuss the case in splintered groups but

only when you are -- when all of you are

together and deliberateing.

The other thing that I must do at

this time, regretfully, is to take the

alternates. The alternates will not be

allowed to deliberate with you. We normally


(901) 529-1999


excuse them at this time. But I am going

to -- I'm requesting that you remain here but

do not speak to the -- do not discuss the

case during the deliberations, but I want you

to remain until the final verdict has been

returned. There is still the possibility

that you -- we hope that it doesn't happen,

but there is always the possibility you might

have to enter into the deliberation. So we

ask you to please stay but do not discuss the

case with anyone. Do you understand?

All right. Anything further?

MR. GARRISON: Can we approach

the bench just a moment?

(Bench conference outside the

presence of the court reporter.)

THE COURT: All right. Would

the alternates come up here.

(The two alternate jurors approached

the bench for a conference outside the

presence of the court reporter.)

THE COURT: All right. Ladies

and gentlemen, during the course of the trial

there were certain exhibits that were


(901) 529-1999


presented. These exhibits will be available

to you if you find that they would help you

in your deliberations, all but the deposition

testimony. We will not allow the depositions

to go back, but any of the other exhibits you

may have.

All right. You may now retire.

(Jury out.)

(The jury began its

deliberations at 12:32 p.m.)

THE COURT: All right. We have

absolutely no idea what the jury is going to

did or how long it is going to take them to

do. I don't know whether or not they are

going to want to take a break before they get

into their serious deliberations. I'm going

to ask you all to stay close. If you must go

someplace, let he the deputy or someone know

where were can reach you.

(The Court stood in recess until

3:02 p.m.)

THE COURT: I understand the

jury has reached a verdict. I'm going to

bring them out. They've indicated that they


(901) 529-1999


want a picture of themselves. So I'm

authorizing this gentleman to take one

picture. He is going to make sure there are

no additional copies. I'll have copies made

of them and send them to the jurors.

(Jury in.)

THE COURT: All right, ladies

and gentlemen. I understand you reached a

verdict. Is that correct?

THE JURY: Yes (In unison).

THE COURT: May I have that


(Verdict form passed to the


THE COURT: I have authorized

this gentleman here to take one picture of

you which I'm going to have developed and

make copies and send to you as I promised.

Okay. All right, ladies and

gentlemen. Let me ask you, do all of you

agree with this verdict?

THE JURY: Yes (In unison).

THE COURT: In answer to the

question did Loyd Jowers participate in a


(901) 529-1999


conspiracy to do harm to Dr. Martin Luther

King, your answer is yes. Do you also find

that others, including governmental agencies,

were parties to this conspiracy as alleged by

the defendant? Your answer to that one is

also yes. And the total amount of damages

you find for the plaintiffs entitled to is

one hundred dollars. Is that your verdict?

THE JURY: Yes (In unison).

THE COURT: All right. I want

to thank you ladies and gentlemen for your

participation. It lasted a lot longer than

we had originally predicted. In spite of

that, you hung in there and you took your

notes and you were alert all during the

trial. And we appreciate it. We want you to

note that our courts cannot function if we

don't have jurors who accept their

responsibility such as you have.

I hope it has been a pleasant

experience for you and that when you go back

home you'll tend tell your friends and

neighbors when they get that letter saying

they've been summoned for jury duty, don't


(901) 529-1999


try to think of up those little old lies,

just come on down and it is not so bad after


I know how much you regret the fact

that you won't be able to come back for the

next ten years. I don't know, I may or may

not recognize you if I see you on the street

some day, but if you would see me and

recognize me, I sure would appreciate you

coming up and reminding me of your service


To remind you of your service, we

have some certificates that we have prepared

for you. They look real good in a frame.

Not only will they remind you of your service

here, but they will remind you also of that

wonderful judge who presided over this. We

do thank you very much on behalf of everyone

who has participated in this trial.

You were directed not to discuss the

case when you were first sworn. Now that

your verdict has been reached, I'm going to

relieve you of that oath, meaning that you

may or may not discuss it. It is up to you.


(901) 529-1999


No one can force you to. And if you discuss

it, it will only be because you decide that

you wanted to.

I guess that's about all except that

I want to come around there and personally

shake your hand. You are what I would call


Having said that, as soon as I get

around there and get a chance to shake your

hands, you'll be dismissed.

(Judge Swearengen left the bench

to shake the jurors hands.)

THE COURT: Those of you who

would like to retain your notes, you may do

so if you want to.

I guess that's about it. So

consider yourselves dismissed and we thank

you again.

Ladies and gentlemen, Court is


(The proceedings were concluded

at 3:10 p.m. on December 8th, 1999.)


(901) 529-1999







SHERYL WEATHERFORD, Reporters and Notaries

Public, Shelby County, Tennessee, CERTIFY:

1. The foregoing proceedings were

taken before us at the time and place stated

in the foregoing styled cause with the

appearances as noted;

2. Being Court Reporters, we then

reported the proceedings in Stenotype to the

best of our skill and ability, and the

foregoing pages contain a full, true and

correct transcript of our said Stenotype

notes then and there taken;

3. We am not in the employ of and

are not related to any of the parties or

their counsel, and we have no interest in the

matter involved.


____ day of ___________, 2000.



Certificate of Merit

Holder; Registered

Professional Reporter,

Notary Public for

the State of Tennessee at

Large ***


(901) 529-1999





Professional Reporter,

Notary Public for

the State of Tennessee at

Large ***




Professional Reporter,

Notary Public for

the State of Tennessee at

Large ***



Court Reporter,

Notary Public for

the State of Tennessee at

Large ***




Professional Reporter,

Notary Public for

the State of Tennessee at

Large ***


(901) 529-1999