BRANDON, Miss. – Jack Brooks Lacy Jr., who as an assistant U.S. attorney led the first federal murder prosecution in a civil rights-era killing, has died.
He was 69.
Lacy died Friday of a single bullet to the head, Rankin County Coroner Jimmy Roberts said. He said he would not have the autopsy report until this morning but suspects suicide.
Lacy was known for his work in the 2003 conviction of former Ku Klux Klansman Ernest Avants for aiding and abetting the murder of black sharecropper Ben Chester White on federal property. Prosecutors said White, 67, was killed in the Homochitto National Forest in 1966 in an attempt to lure Martin Luther King Jr. to southwest Mississippi for assassination.
After his federal work, Lacy became assistant state attorney general for the Mississippi Band of Choctaws.
Jack had an undying commitment to doing what was right as a public servant, John Dowdy, criminal division chief for the U.S. Attorneys Office told WAPT-TV.