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James Earl Ray back in prison hospital

Ray

December 31, 1996
Web posted at: 2:45 p.m. EST

NASHVILLE, Tennessee (CNN) -- In spite of protests from his family, James Earl Ray, the convicted assassin of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., has been moved back to a prison hospital, authorities said Tuesday.

Ray, 68, was returned to DeBerry Special Needs Facility in Nashville, a prison hospital housing 100 inmates. "I don't see how they could have released him 'cause he's hooked up to all this stuff there" and can speak only in a whisper, younger brother Jerry Ray said.

Ray, who suffers from cirrhosis of the liver and kidney problems, was moved because his condition had improved, said a spokeswoman at Columbia Memorial Hospital where Ray was brought comatose on December 22.

After initially confessing to killing King in Memphis in 1968, Ray has repeatedly claimed he was set up by a mysterious accomplice. He is serving a 99-year sentence and is expected to go to court again next month in a continuing attempt to reverse his conviction.

Reuters contributed to this report.

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