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Nation IN BRIEF / TENNESSEE

Judge Says Ray Rifle Belongs in Museum

March 18, 2000|From Times Wire Reports

A judge in Nashville said the rifle believed used by James Earl Ray to assassinate civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. ought to be sent to a Memphis museum when the government is finished examining it. Davidson County Circuit Court Judge Frank Clement ruled previously that the rifle belongs to the state of Tennessee and not to Ray's brother, Jerry, who claims the rifle was not the murder weapon and that it belongs to him. Clement said that once a federal investigation is over, the state can transfer the rifle to the National Civil Rights Museum, which occupies the old Lorraine Motel, where King was shot.

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