Ex-federal prosecutor who led historic case dies

By The Associated Press

BRANDON, Miss. (AP) — Jack Brooks Lacy Jr., who as an assistant U.S. attorney led the first federal murder prosecution in a civil rights-era killing, is dead. He was 69.

Ott & Lee Funeral Home in Brandon says funeral plans are incomplete.

Rankin County Coroner Jimmy Roberts says Lacy died Friday of a single bullet to the head. He says he won’t have the autopsy report until Monday, but he suspects suicide.

Lacy was known for his work in the 2003 conviction of former Klansman Ernest Avants for aiding and abetting the 1966 murder of black sharecropper Ben Chester White on federal property. Prosecutors said White was killed to lure Martin Luther King Jr. to Mississippi for assassination.

After his federal work, Lacy became the state prosecutor for the Mississippi Band of Choctaws.