On 4 April 1968, American civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated by a sniper's bullet at his hotel in Memphis, Tennessee. The death of King sparked riots all over the United States. On 10 March 1969, James Earl Ray pleaded guilty to the crime and was then sentenced to 99 years in prison. However, Ray announced that his confession had been made under duress; furthermore, he claimed to be a patsy in a larger conspiracy. Surprisingly, the King family came to support Ray's move to reopen his case.
Richert, Lucas Paul. "Assassination of Martin Luther King". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 01 October 2008
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/stopics.php?rec=true&UID=1368, accessed 12 March 2014.]