Ex-inmate sues reputed Klansman in Miss. dispute

June 18, 2012 - 2:55 PM
Supremacist Cellmate Dispute

FILE - Reputed Ku Klux Klan leader Edgar Ray Killen, is shown in this June 20, 2005 file photograph taken in Philadelphia, Miss. James Stern, a black man who was a cellmate in a Mississippi prison with Killen, says that he gave him power of attorney while in prison and has taken control of 40 acres of Killen's land, with an acre to be set aside for a civil rights memorial at a Thursday, June 14, 2012 news conference in Jackson, Miss. Killen was convicted on June 21, 2005 _ exactly 41 years after Michael Schwerner, James Chaney and Andrew Goodman were killed. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis, File)

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) โ€” A black ex-prison inmate has filed a lawsuit against reputed Ku Klux Klansman Edgar Ray Killen and his wife and lawyer over statements related to a land transfer and book and movie rights.

James Stern claims Killen signed over power of attorney and land, book and movie rights to him while Stern was serving time for mail fraud in the same Mississippi prison where Killen is held.

Stern's suit claims Killen's lawyer, Robert Ratliff, hurt his reputation by denying Killen gave Stern power of attorney. The suit seeks at least $6 million.

Ratliff's law partner, Jon Green, called the lawsuit frivolous.

Killing is serving 60 years for manslaughter related to the 1964 deaths of three civil rights workers that were dramatized in the 1988 movie "Mississippi Burning."