The 1999 King family lawsuit exposed much evidence showing that James Earl Ray was not the killer, and his guilty plea had been manipulated by his own lawyer, another shady character to look into.
Two cab drivers were witnesses to the killing, and one ended up murdered. This is testimony from the 1999 trial:
Cab driver Louis Ward testified what fellow cab driver–and assassination eyewitness–Paul Butler told him over the taxi radio:
Q. So he’s telling you that after the shot he saw a man come out of the bushes –
A. Yes, sir.
Q. — run up north on Mulberry Street –
A. Yes, sir.
Q. — and get into a squad car — a traffic –
A. Traffic squad car, black and white, mm-hum.
Two weeks after the assassination of Dr. King, Louis Ward went into the Yellow Cab headquarters.
Q. Who did you ask about Mr. Butler?
A. There was four or five cab drivers standing around talking. And I just asked them. And that’s when they told me — I don’t even remember which one told me. But he said he had been throwed out of a high- speed automobile between Memphis and West Memphis. And they found him about 10 o’clock the next day. [April 5, 1968]
Q. They said he was thrown out of a high-speed automobile. When was he thrown out of that automobile?
A. The next — the next morning. They said they found his body about 10 o’clock or 10:30 the next morning. He was supposed to have been in court at 9 o’clock that morning and he wasn’t there. They found his car there at the cab company. And — but he wasn’t — he wasn’t — never made it to court. But then about 10:30 they said they found his body between Memphis and West Memphis.
This is a version of the transcript, but doesn’t appear to be original from the court: