Ray, James Earl

Ray, James Earl

(1928–  ) assassin; born in Alton, Ill. He served in the U.S. Army (1946–48) and was in prison for armed robbery (1960–67). He escaped in 1967 and shot and killed Martin Luther King Jr. (1968). In 1969 he was sentenced to 99 years in prison. Although few doubted he had fired the fatal shot, many questioned whether he acted alone.