Homicide

State judge in 'Mississippi Burning' trial dies at age 84

  • FILE - In this June 23, 2005 file photo, Neshoba County circuit judge Marcus Gordon, explains to reporters his considerations in sentencing Edgar Ray Killen to 20-year terms on each of three counts of manslaughter for the 1964 deaths of three civil rights workers in his Philadelphia, Miss., courtroom. Gordon died Thursday, May 26, 2016 at St. Dominic Hospital in Jackson, Miss. He was 84. Gordon sentenced Edgar Ray Killen to 60 years in prison after a mixed-race jury convicted the reputed former Ku Klux Klan leader of manslaughter in the 1964 kidnap-slaying of three civil rights workers in Neshoba County. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis, File)

    FILE - In this June 23, 2005 file photo, Neshoba County circuit judge Marcus Gordon, explains to reporters his considerations in sentencing Edgar Ray Killen to 20-year terms on each of three counts of manslaughter for the 1964 deaths of three civil rights workers in his Philadelphia, Miss., courtroom. Gordon died Thursday, May 26, 2016 at St. Dominic Hospital in Jackson, Miss. He was 84. Gordon sentenced Edgar Ray Killen to 60 years in prison after a mixed-race jury convicted the reputed former Ku Klux Klan leader of manslaughter in the 1964 kidnap-slaying of three civil rights workers in Neshoba County. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis, File)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE - In this Jan. 7, 2005 photo, Neshoba County circuit judge Marcus Gordon, stands outside the Neshoba County Courthouse in Philadelphia, Miss., as Mississippi Highway Patrol Trooper Eddie Hunt stands guard. Gordon, who presided over the "Mississippi Burning" trial in 2005, died Thursday, May 26, 2016, at St. Dominic Hospital in Jackson, Miss. He was 84. Gordon sentenced Edgar Ray Killen to 60 years in prison after a mixed-race jury convicted the reputed former Ku Klux Klan leader of manslaughter in the 1964 kidnap-slaying of three civil rights workers in Neshoba County. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis, File)

    FILE - In this Jan. 7, 2005 photo, Neshoba County circuit judge Marcus Gordon, stands outside the Neshoba County Courthouse in Philadelphia, Miss., as Mississippi Highway Patrol Trooper Eddie Hunt stands guard. Gordon, who presided over the "Mississippi Burning" trial in 2005, died Thursday, May 26, 2016, at St. Dominic Hospital in Jackson, Miss. He was 84. Gordon sentenced Edgar Ray Killen to 60 years in prison after a mixed-race jury convicted the reputed former Ku Klux Klan leader of manslaughter in the 1964 kidnap-slaying of three civil rights workers in Neshoba County. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis, File)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE - In this Jan. 6, 2005 photo, Neshoba County Circuit Court Judge Marcus Gordon talks with Edgar Ray Killen during an arraignment in the 1964 murders of three civil rights workers, in Philadelphia, Miss. Gordon died Thursday, May 26, 2016 at St. Dominic Hospital in Jackson, Miss. He was 84. Gordon later sentenced Edgar Ray Killen to 60 years in prison after a mixed-race jury convicted the reputed former Ku Klux Klan leader of manslaughter in the 1964 kidnap-slaying of the three civil rights workers. (Kyle Carter/The Neshoba Democrat, via AP, File)

    FILE - In this Jan. 6, 2005 photo, Neshoba County Circuit Court Judge Marcus Gordon talks with Edgar Ray Killen during an arraignment in the 1964 murders of three civil rights workers, in Philadelphia, Miss. Gordon died Thursday, May 26, 2016 at St. Dominic Hospital in Jackson, Miss. He was 84. Gordon later sentenced Edgar Ray Killen to 60 years in prison after a mixed-race jury convicted the reputed former Ku Klux Klan leader of manslaughter in the 1964 kidnap-slaying of the three civil rights workers. (Kyle Carter/The Neshoba Democrat, via AP, File)  (The Associated Press)

The state judge who presided over the "Mississippi Burning" trial in 2005 has died.

The state Administrative Office of Courts says retired Circuit Judge Marcus Gordon died Thursday at St. Dominic Hospital in Jackson. He was 84. A cause of death was not immediately available.

Gordon sentenced Edgar Ray Killen to 60 years in prison after a mixed-race jury convicted the reputed former Ku Klux Klan leader of manslaughter in the 1964 kidnap-slaying of three civil rights workers in Neshoba County.

The cold case's revival marked the first time state prosecutors had brought charges against anyone in what the FBI called the "Mississippi Burning" investigation.

Killen was convicted 41 years to the day after the killings of Michael Schwerner, James Chaney and Andrew Goodman. The 91-year-old remains in prison.