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Judge from Mississippi civil rights murder trial dies at 79

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — A Mississippi judge who gave a life sentence to the white supremacist convicted of killing civil rights leader Medgar Evers has died. The state Administrative Office of Courts says retired Hinds County Circuit Court Judge L. Breland Hilburn died Monday of complications from COVID-19. Hilburn was 79. He presided over the 1994 murder trial of Byron De La Beckwith in the 1963 killing of Evers. Two all-white juries tried Beckwith in the 1960s. They deadlocked and mistrials were declared. The case was reopened in the early 1990s, and an integrated jury convicted Beckwith. He died in prison in 2001.

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