Former Miss. Gov. Bill Waller dies at 85

November 30, 2011 - 5:40 PM

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Former Mississippi Gov. William Waller Sr., who as a district attorney twice unsuccessfully prosecuted the man eventually convicted of killing civil rights leader Medgar Evers, has died. He was 85.

Waller's law office says he died Wednesday at a hospital. The Democrat served from 1972-76 — a time when Mississippi governors were limited to one term.

Waller also served as district attorney in Hinds County in the 1960s and twice tried to get a conviction against Byron De La Beckwith for Evers' assassination. In 1994, prosecutor Bobby DeLaughter was able to secure a guilty verdict when blacks were able to serve on the jury.

Waller ran an unsuccessful campaign for governor in 1967 but turned things around in 1971.