'Mississippi Burning' district attorney chosen to be judge

AP News
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Posted: May 31, 2017 6:43 PM

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — A district attorney who helped prosecute a high-profile civil rights cold case known as "Mississippi Burning" is becoming a state court judge.

Gov. Phil Bryant said Wednesday that he is appointing Mark Duncan to succeed a retiring circuit judge.

Duncan has been district attorney since 2003 in four central Mississippi counties. The judgeship covers the same counties.

In 2005, Duncan and Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood prosecuted Edgar Ray Killen in the 1964 abduction and slaying of civil rights workers Michael Schwerner, James Chaney and Andrew Goodman in Neshoba County. A mixed-race jury in Neshoba County convicted Killen of manslaughter on the 41st anniversary of the killings. Killen was sentenced to 60 years and remains in prison.

Duncan succeeds Vernon Cotten as circuit judge.