Klansman who misled judge over health to win bail is sent back to jail

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Killen used an oxygen tank to assist his breathing during his trial in June after breaking both legs in a tree-cutting accident in March. In August he testified at a bail hearing that he was in great pain, was unable to walk and needed therapy.

Yesterday a sheriff's deputy testified that he saw 80-year-old Killen at a petrol station, walking and standing beside his pick-up truck. Other deputies said that they had seen Killen driving around town.

Looking down on Killen, who sat before him in a wheelchair, Circuit Court Judge Marcus Gordon said: "I feel fraud has been committed upon the court." The judge revoked Killen's bail.

In June, Killen was convicted of manslaughter for the killings of James Chaney, Michael Schwerner and Andrew Goodman, civil rights workers who were registering blacks to vote in Mississippi. The crime galvanised the civil rights movement and inspired the 1988 movie Mississippi Burning.

Killen was sentenced to 60 years in prison but in August, Judge Gordon released him on $600,000 (£326,000) bail pending appeal because of his deteriorating health.

The judge noted yesterday that a local newspaper had quoted Killen as saying he planned to attend a "Killen Appreciation Day" reception proposed by a white supremacist group. Judge Gordon said Killen's mobility obviously was not as limited as he had claimed and ordered him back to prison. Deputies wheeled Killen out in his wheelchair and drove him to the Neshoba County jail to await transfer to the state prison.

Outside court, the judge said: "When you come into court and place yourself in front of the court in a truthful manner, you'll receive justice. But when you come in there with fraudulent testimony, the courts can't stand for that."