Marcus Chenault

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On June 30, 1974, Marcus Chenault, a twenty-one year old, African-American man from Ohio, murdered Alberta Williams King. King was sitting at the organ in the Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, Georgia, while a church service was underway. Chenault also killed a church deacon. King was the mother of Martin Luther King, Jr. It remains unclear why Chenault killed King, although the murderer apparently hoped to kill other African-American leaders as well. After the incident, he stated that "all Christians are my enemies." In the subsequent trial, Chenault was sentenced to death, even though two psychiatrists testified that Chenault suffered from schizophrenia and was insane at the time of the murders. A judge commuted Chenault's sentence to life in prison in 1995. Chenault died of natural causes on August 3, 1995.


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