MLK Family Drama

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The King Family has experienced unbelievable turmoil in the last few months. From a battle over the rights to the late Coretta Scott King’s biography to ailing family associate, Reverend James Bevel, facing conviction for incest on his deathbed, the drama has been unending. 

The late Mrs. King’s love letters and personal affects have been the subject of much friction between her surviving children. Dexter King owns the majority rights to the family corporation King Inc., and has executed Dr. King’s will, while Bernice King and Martin Luther King II have been resisting his attempts to include the couple’s letters in a book from Penguin Publishing. The million-dollar battle has played out in the public eye, shaming their gilded family name. 

From Atlanta Journal-Constitution:

Later, outside the courthouse, Dexter King said he was as disappointed as anyone in Tuesday’s spectacle. He pointed out that it was his siblings who initiated the litigation in July, accusing him of mismanagement and not including them in family business matters.

“I’m hoping and praying that they will come to their senses,” Dexter said, “and realize this is not in the spirit of our parents.”

And in another disturbing turn, the Reverend James Bevel, who was a top aide to King during the civil rights movement may face up to 15 years in prison after being convicted of raping his daughter when she was fifteen. As Bevel awaits sentencing, he has revealed to the presiding judge that he is losing a battle with pancreatic cancer. He may have only six weeks to live.

From Associated Press: 

LEESBURG, Va. (AP) A top lieutenant to Martin Luther King Jr. has been sentenced to 15 years in prison for incest.

The Rev. James L. Bevel was a key architect of the 1963 Children’s Crusade in Birmingham, Ala., and other pivotal moments of the civil rights movement. He was convicted earlier this year of having sex 15 years ago with his then-teenage daughter in Loudoun County.

The prison sentence handed down Wednesday was the most severe the judge could impose. Sentencing guidelines called for a term of probation.

Bevel took the witness stand at the sentencing hearing and revealed he was recently diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. He says doctors estimate he has six weeks to six months to live.

Prosecutors said his illness was unfortunate but that he deserves to die in prison.

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