The Latest: Till cousin says he's talked to investigator

Emmett Louis Till, Emmett Till Photo: AP
Emmett Louis Till, Emmett Till

July 12, 2018 12:51 PM

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — The Latest on the renewed investigation into the killing of Emmett Till (all times local):

12:30 p.m.

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A potential witness in the slaying of black teenager Emmett Till says he's talked with law enforcement about the case in recent months.

Till's cousin, Wheeler Parker, said Thursday he's "pretty sure" an investigator asked him about what happened in a Mississippi store the day Till whistled at a white woman before his slaying in 1955.

Parker is 79 and the conversation occurred months ago, and he says he has a hard time remembering details. But Parker says the discussion likely occurred after the release of a book that raised questions about the Till case last year. The book says the woman acknowledged she wasn't truthful when she testified that the 14-year-old Till grabbed her.

Parker says the Justice Department hasn't told Till's family anything about the reopened investigation. He says they're waiting to get information just like everyone else.

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12:20 p.m.

A legal expert says it's unclear what new charges could result from a renewed investigation into the slaying of Emmett Till more than 60 years ago.

University of Mississippi law professor Tucker Carrington says conspiracy or murder charges could be filed if anyone still alive is shown to have been involved.

But he says too much time likely has passed to prosecute anyone for other crimes, such as lying to investigators or in court.

Two white men were previously tried on murder charges and acquitted by all-white juries, but they're both dead.

The Justice Department has told Congress it reopened an investigation of Till's slaying after receiving "new information." Authorities haven't said what that may be, but the move followed the release last year of a book about the case.

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11:30 a.m.

A Mississippi prosecutor isn't saying whether federal authorities have given him any new information since they reopened an investigation into the slaying of Emmett Till in 1955.

District Attorney Dewayne Richardson declined comment Thursday on any role he might have in the case. But he says it's always open until everyone involved has died.

Two white men were tried and acquitted by all-white juries after Till's brutal slaying 63 years ago. The 1955 trial was held in Tallahatchie County, which isn't in Richardson's district.

Richardson says it's not unusual for district attorneys to cooperate across district lines or for state and federal prosecutors to help local prosecutors. He says if a case were to move forward, he and the other district attorney could decide who would prosecute it.

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5 a.m.

The federal government has reopened its investigation into the slaying of Emmett Till, the black teenager whose brutal 1955 killing in Mississippi shocked the world.

A Justice Department report to Congress says the agency is reinvestigating Till's slaying after receiving what it calls "new information."

The report doesn't indicate what the new information might be. But it was issued in March following the publication last year of "The Blood of Emmett Till."

The book says a white woman acknowledged she wasn't truthful when she testified that the 14-year-old Till grabbed her and whistled at her in a store in 1955.

Two white men were acquitted in Till's lynching, but later confessed.

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(Copyright 2018 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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