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Klansman convicted 43 years after crime

JACKSON, Miss., June 15 (UPI) -- A Mississippi jury convicted a reputed Ku Klux Klansman of participating in the abductions and killings of two black teenagers 43 years ago.

James Ford Seale was found guilty of conspiracy and kidnapping for the Civil Right-era abductions and deaths of Henry Hezekiah Dee and Charles Eddie Moore, the Jackson (Miss.) Clarion-Ledger reported Friday.

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Dee and Moore were beaten before they were drowned in a channel of the Mississippi River near Tallulah, La.

"I'm rejoicing for justice in this country," said Moore's brother, Thomas, who asked U.S. Attorney Dunn Lampton to reopen the case in 2005.

The prosecution's case relied heavily on the testimony of former Klansman Charles Marcus Edwards, who admitted to participating in the crime and implicated Seale as an accomplice. He was granted immunity for his testimony, the newspaper said.

Seale is to be sentenced by U.S. District Judge Henry Wingate Aug. 24. He could face life imprisonment.

George Lucas, an attorney for Seale and a senior litigator with the Federal Public Defenders Office, said the defense team plans to appeal the verdict, the Clarion-Ledger said.

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