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Anna Sandhu Ray Says She’ll Divorce King’s Assassin

October 14, 1988 GMT

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) _ Anna Sandhu Ray, who 10 years ago Thursday wed the man convicted of killing the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., said on her anniversary that she plans to divorce James Earl Ray.

″I have told him that I was going to take measures to get a divorce and he agreed that that might be the best thing for me to do,″ Mrs. Ray said of her imprisoned husband. She said she plans to divorce him on the grounds of irreconcilable differences.

Mrs. Ray, 42, said she decided to divorce Ray after he told her she was being ″cut out″ of any participation in or profits from a book Ray is writing, in which he contends that the FBI conspired to kill King.

Mrs. Ray, who lives 20 miles north of Nashville in the town of White House, said she has talked to a lawyer, Harold H. Cole, about formal divorce proceedings. Cole said Thursday no firm steps toward a divorce have been taken.

Ray, 60, was sentenced to 99 years in prison in 1969 when he pleaded guilty to shooting and killing King as the civil rights leader stood on a balcony of the Lorraine Motel in Memphis.

Ray, now in Brushy Mountain State Prison in east Tennessee, has since repeatedly denied his guilt and sought a new trial.

Mrs. Ray has said she believes the killing was instigated by the Soviet government.

Mrs. Ray met Ray in December 1977, while she worked as a free-lance courtroom artist. She married him Oct. 13, 1978, ″because I wanted to help him.″

She said Thursday that she has not seen her husband for about two years, although they have exchanged letters.

Mrs. Ray said the actual divorce filing will be made after she is able to ″find out information about the book.″