The leader of a Mississippi Ku Klux Klan group says its members have been asked to stay away from Philadelphia because they fear any organized protest would hurt the case of Edgar Ray Killen.
Jury selection is scheduled to begin on Monday. Killen is accused of the 1964 murders of three civil rights workers.
Richard Greene of Petal, Imperial Wizard of the Mississippi White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, says any Mississippi Klansmen doing anything beyond showing support for Killen as private citizens might face disciplinary action, such as expulsion from the Klan.
Greene says Klan leaders are sure Killen is innocent, and the trial of the 40-year-old murders is "politically motivated."
Killen, 80, a sawmill operator and preacher is accused of helping orchestrate the killings of James Chaney, Michael Schwerner and Andrew Goodman, "Freedom Summer" civil rights workers.
Killen and 17 others were tried in 1967 on federal charges of depriving the three of their civil rights. Seven were convicted; eight acquitted. The jury could not reach a verdict on Killen.