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Loyd Jowers (November 20, 1926 May 20, 2000) was the owner of a restaurant (Jim's Grill) near the Lorraine Motelmarker in Memphis, where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated in 1968. In December 1993, Jowers appeared in ABC's Prime Time Live and related the details of an alleged conspiracy involving the Mafia and the U.S. government to kill King. According to Jowers, James Earl Ray was a scapegoat, and not involved in the assassination. Jowers believes that Memphis police officer Lt. Earl Clark fired the fatal shots.

In 1998, the King family filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Jowers and "other unknown co-conspirators" for the murder of King. A Memphis jury found Jowers responsible on December 8, 1999 and that the assassination plot contained also "governmental agencies." At a 1999 press conference following the verdict, Coretta Scott King stated that "there is abundant evidence of a major high level conspiracy in the assassination of my husband, Martin Luther King, Jr...the conspiracy of the Mafia, local, state and federal government agencies, were deeply involved in the assassination of my husband. The jury also affirmed overwhelming evidence that identified someone else, not James Earl Ray, as the shooter, and that Mr. Ray was set up to take the blame." Following statements by Dexter King and other family members, Dexter was subsequently asked by a reporter, "there are many people out there who feel that as long as these conspirators remain nameless and faceless there is no true closure, and no justice." He replied:

"No, he [Mr. Lloyd Jowers] named the shooter.
The shooter was the Memphis Police Department Officer, Lt.
Earl Clark who he named as the killer.
Once again, beyond that you had credible witnesses that named members of a Special Forces team who didn't have to act because the contract killer succeeded, with plausible denial, a Mafia contracted killer".

United States Department of Justicemarker Civil Rights Division started investigation on Jowers claims August 26, 1998. The investigation was completed in June 2000, and found no reason to believe Jowers' allegations.

Author Jim Douglass attended the trial and commented:

This historic trial was so ignored by the media that, apart from the courtroom participants, I was the only person who attended it from beginning to end.
What I experienced in that courtroom ranged from inspiration at the courage of the Kings, their lawyer-investigator William F.
Pepper, and the witnesses, to amazement at the government's carefully interwoven plot to kill Dr. King.
The seriousness with which US intelligence agencies planned the murder of Martin Luther King, Jr. speaks eloquently of the threat Kingian nonviolence represented to the powers that be in the spring of 1968.

Jowers died from a heart attack on May 20, 2000 at the age of 73.


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