Edgar Ray Killen will remain in jail. Judge Marcus Gordon dismissed an attempt to have the guilty verdict for manslaughter, reached by a Neshoba County jury last week, thrown out.
The judge denied a request by Killen's attorneys for a new trial after a short hearing. Mitch Moran and James McIntyre argued that a new trial should be granted because they'd come prepared to defend a murder charge, not a manslaughter charge.
"He was charged with murder. The state failed to meet that burden and we met it," said McIntyre. "Then at the end of the stream, the state decided to change their minds to manslaughter."
And the jury ended up finding Killen guilty of three counts of manslaughter in the 1964 deaths of Michael Schwerner, James Chaney, and Andrew Goodman.
The denial of the request for a new trial means the case is over, at least for now, and District Attorney Mark Duncan says he is glad for that.
"It certainly was a major undertaking, but hopefully I can move on to tending to all the cases that are still going on," Duncan said.
Killen's attorneys say they've already received hundreds of phone calls from attorneys wanting to help with his appeal. They have thirty days to file it. At that time, Killen will ask to be released on bond while the appeal is pending.