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James Earl Ray, convicted in 1969 of the murder of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., says he hopes the mock television trial that found him not guilty will lead to his freedom.

"I am pleased that finally an independent jury has examined the state's case and found me not guilty," Ray said in a statement from prison following the Sunday night broadcast on HBO of "Guilt or Innocence: The Trial of James Earl Ray." "I hope . . . that I will eventually be set free."

Ray pleaded guilty in 1969 and is serving 99 years.

Sunday's 25th anniversary of the assassination was commemorated in Memphis, Tenn., where King was shot, and in Atlanta, his home town, where his body lies entombed.

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