Judge to Consider Killen Motion

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Neshoba County Circuit Judge Marcus Gordon will hear arguments Wednesday on a defense motion to delay the trial of Edgar Ray Killen. The reputed Ku Klux Klansman is charged with murder in the 1964 slayings of three civil rights workers.

A hearing on the pretrial motion is set for 10:00 a.m. at the Neshoba County Courthouse in Philadelphia. Jury selection for the trial is scheduled to start Monday.

Attorneys for Killen say the 80-year-old suffers from osteoarthritis in his knees and back and is uncomfortable sitting for long periods. Killen is still recovering from injuries he suffered when a tree fell on him March 10.

Gordon already has told defense lawyers he'll accommodate Killen and take many breaks, if necessary.

If the trial were delayed, Neshoba County would lose the money it has already spent to mail summons and questionnaires to a pool of about 400 potential jurors.

Killen is a part-time preacher and sawmill operator. He is charged with the 1964 murders of James Chaney, Andrew Goodman and Michael Schwerner, who were in Neshoba County to help black citizens register to vote.