Two witnesses recall Beckwith brag about killing Evers

JACKSON, Miss. -- Two witnesses told a Mississippi jury Tuesday that they heard white supremacist Bryon De La Beckwith brag in 1965 that he had killed civil rights leader Medgar Evers.

The testimony of the two witnesses -- FBI informant Delmar Dennis and Peggy Morgan -- was the backbone of a new indictment in 1990 that allowed prosecutors to try Beckwith a third time for the 1963 slaying of Evers.


Dennis told jurors Tuesday that Beckwith was the featured speaker at a Ku Klux Klan rally in Byram, Miss. in 1965.

During his speech, Beckwith said, 'killing that nigger didn't cause me any more physical harm than your wives have endured having a baby,' the FBI informant told the jury.

According to Dennis, Beckwith also encouraged Klansmen, 'to become more violent and kill, kill from the top down.'

Evers was NAACP field director in Mississippi at the time of his death.

Another key witness was Morgan, who recalled a car ride with her husband and Beckwith to the state prison at Parchman, Miss. Beckwith did not want any one to know that he was visiting the prison.


Morgan said Beckwith told them to keep quiet, adding 'I killed Medgar Evers, and I'm not afraid to kill again.'

A retired Jackson police officer testified last week that Beckwith's fingerprints were found on the high-powered rifle used to killed Evers in the driveway of his west Jackson home.

Beckwith denies killing Evers and says the rifle was stolen from his home.

Beckwith, 73, is on trial for the third time for the slaying of Evers. Two trials before all-white juries in 1964 resulted in mistrials and Beckwith later left the state to live in Tennessee.

New evidence offered by the prosecution and jury tampering in the second trial ultimately brought a new indictment in 1990.

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