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ARREST MADE IN SLAYING OF EVERS IN '63 TRIAL WOULD BE THIRD IN RIGHTS LEADER'S DEATH

White supremacist Byron De La Beckwith was arrested Monday in the 1963 murder of civil rights leader Medgar Evers, setting the stage for his third trial in the case.

De La Beckwith, 70, was picked up at his home in nearby Signal Mountain on a fugitive warrant from the State of Mississippi. He was jailed pending an extradition hearing.

"They told us he'd have to go back to trial," his wife, Thelma, said.

De La Beckwith was tried twice in 1964 before all-white juries for the slaying of Evers but both trials ended in deadlocked juries, and charges against him were dropped in 1969.

A gun with his fingerprint was found near the murder scene, but the accused said his weapon previously had been stolen.

The arrest came after a grand jury in Jackson heard two days of testimony about the assassination of Evers, field secretary for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People when he was shot to death in the driveway of his home.

The Clarion-Ledger in Jackson said new evidence had come to light since the second trial.

Allegations have been made of jury and evidence tampering. Among those who testified before the grand jury was Evers' widow, Myrlie.

Authorities said that De La Beckwith, who was released Friday from a Veterans Administration hospital in Nashville, offered no resistance when he was arrested.

Beckwith, a former Greenwood fertilizer salesman, said Sunday he expected to be arrested and would fight extradition to Mississippi "tooth, nail and claw."

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