Former Klansman given bail in civil rights case

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A judge granted Edgar Ray Killen a $600,000 bond on Friday so the one-time Klansman can be released from prison while he appeals his manslaughter convictions in the killings of three civil rights workers.

Circuit Judge Marcus Gordon said he was convinced by testimony that Killen, who is 80 and uses a wheelchair, was neither a flight risk nor danger to the community.

His June 21 conviction came exactly 41 years after the trio was mobbed and killed on a rural road by Ku Klux Klansmen.

The three, who were investigating the burning of a black church outside Philadelphia, had been stopped on an accusation of speeding and held for hours in the Neshoba County jail.

According to witnesses, Killen rounded up carloads of Klansmen to intercept the three men upon their release and helped arrange for a bulldozer to hide the bodies.

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