Justice was slow, but caught up with him in the end:
Edgar Ray Killen, a former member of the Ku Klux Klan, was found guilty today of felony manslaughter in the killings of three civil rights workers in Mississippi four decades ago. The verdict, delivered on the 41st anniversary of the deaths, was less severe than the murder conviction that the state prosecutors had sought.
The jury, which began deliberating Monday afternoon, reported just before breaking for the night that they were spilt 6 to 6 on the case against Mr. Killen, an ailing, 80-year-old sawmill operator who was charged with masterminding the 1964 slayings. The jurors resumed their deliberations this morning, after spending the night sequestered at a hotel on the order of the judge, Marcus D. Gordon of State Circuit Court in Neshoba County.
Mr. Killen, the first to face state murder charges in the case, could be sentenced to up to 20 years on each of the three counts. He did not testify at his short trial, which began last Wednesday, and he was breathing with the aid of an oxygen tube, looking straight ahead, as he listened to the reading of the verdict and the confirmatory poll of the jurors by the judge.
Mr. Killen was immediately taken into custody.