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Tennessee prison authorities said Tuesday they have denied James Earl Ray's request to live out the rest of his life with his brother.

In a Dec. 5 letter to the confessed assassin of civil rights leader Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., prison authorities cited "security concerns" as the reason for refusing to allow Ray to leave a Nashville prison hospital and move in with his younger brother Jerry, who lives in a mobile home in nearby Smartt, Tenn., a corrections department spokesman said.

Ray, 69, who made his request for a medical furlough last month, has been ill with liver disease for months, and has been near death from organ failure several times.

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