Judge Dismisses Lawsuit Against WLBT Anchor Howard Ballou

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By Merrill Knox Comment

A federal judge today dismissed a lawsuit filed by the estate of Martin Luther King Jr. against Howard Ballou, an anchor at WLBT in Jackson.

The lawsuit claimed Ballou has historical materials, including photographs, transcripts and handwritten letters, that rightfully belong to the King estate. Ballou’s mother, Maude, was a personal secretary for King from 1955-60, and Ballou argued in court that the archival materials were gifts from King and rightfully belonged to his family.

U.S. District Judge Tom Lee dismissed the lawsuit with prejudice, meaning it can’t be refiled, although the King estate can appeal the ruling, according to the Associated Press. The attorney that represented the estate, Bob Owens, said he is “certain that the estate is going to appeal.”