Motions Denied in Killen Case

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It's official. The Edgar Ray Killen trial will begin, as scheduled, June 13, but not before more than 100 other people will be summoned for jury duty.

It didn't take Circuit Judge Marcus Gordon long to rule on a defense motion to throw out the charges against Edgar Ray Killen. He denied the request by Defense Attorney Mitch Moran without leaving the bench.

That was not unexpected, even to those who were arguing for the dismissal.

"We've got a big trial. Everyone wants this to go to trial and I figured we'd be overruled," Moran said.

The defense and prosecutors did agree to share some documents they had been arguing about, particularly transcripts from a grand jury that was impaneled in 1965 to investigate the murders of Andrew Goodman, James Chaney and Michael Schwerner.

Now, court officials must move to finding a potential jury. Judge Gordon has ordered 150 more jury summons be sent out starting Tuesday morning. That's in addition to the 250 that have already been sent out.

District Attorney Mark Duncan said he's hopeful that will now be enough to come up with the 12 jurors and four alternates needed to try the case.

"There may be some persons who get excluded for various reasons, but I think hopefully, with the additional summons going out, we'll have enough to select a jury," said Duncan.

Getting those summonses out quickly will be up to the Neshoba County Sheriff's Department. Deputies will have to deliver each of them individually. Sheriff Larry Myers says that won't be easy.

"A lot of times you have to back two or three times to each address to get people at home," said Myers. "Whatever time it takes, we'll just have to devote that time to it."

There won't be a lot of time. The trial starts in three weeks, and the summons must all be delivered before then.