The trial of reputed Ku Klux Klansman James Ford Seale, who is accused of kidnapping in the 1964 slayings of two black men, has been postponed, a federal judge said.
U.S. District Judge Henry T. Wingate told The Associated Press that he would hold a hearing Thursday to rule on several outstanding motions, including whether there should be a change of venue.
Seale’s attorneys have said he can’t get a fair trial in Jackson due to the publicity about his arrest. His trial had been scheduled to begin Monday.
Seale and reputed KKK member Charles Marcus Edwards were arrested in 1964 in the deaths of Charles Eddie Moore and Henry Hezekiah Dee. But the FBI — consumed by the search for three civil rights workers who had disappeared that summer — turned the case over to local authorities, who promptly threw out all charges.
The Justice Department reopened the case in 2000, and Seale was arrested Jan. 24 in the southwest Mississippi town of Roxie. He pleaded not guilty the next day to two counts of kidnapping and one count of conspiracy. Edwards has not been charged.