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Relative speaks on racially motivated 1959 killing of Corinth teen

Mississippi could re-examine 1959 racial killing of teenager William Roy Prather.

Posted: Aug 21, 2018 10:44 PM
Updated: Aug 22, 2018 1:08 PM

CORINTH, Miss. (WTVA) - “Write that I wanted to fight, wanted to live, no one thought of what I wanted."

That's a piece of a poem that Gennella Graham wrote about her relative William Roy Prather, on what he still wanted for his life before a fatal Halloween night.

Graham, an English teacher at Corinth High School, just learned last year from her aunt that she was related to Prather.

“I asked her about this murder and she said yeah that’s your cousin," Graham shared. "I was shocked because I never heard anything about him growing up.”

According to investigators' interviews with witnesses, a group of white teens drove through a black neighborhood, got a shotgun then returned to the black part of town, where Jerry Darnell Glidewell shot Prather.

Glidewell, then 16, pleaded guilty to manslaughter in the case. WTVA stopped by his home, where family said he has cancer and right now has no comment on the case.

Glidewell spoke to other media outlets on the phone, saying that "it's all over with" and that he hadn't heard any more on the case.

In the meantime, Graham says the revisiting of the shooting is a step in the right direction.

“The fact that they may be re-opening this case proves that this man was alive at one time and he had a life and he was important to someone.”

A U.S Justice Department letter said no federal charges could be brought in the killing of William Prather, based on laws in 1959.

It said "the only possible prosecution" would be for the state to bring unspecified charges against one suspect who was 18 at the time of the crime.

WTVA reached out to District Attorney John Weddle, but has yet to hear back.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 498560

Reported Deaths: 9939
CountyCasesDeaths
Harrison34150535
DeSoto31916399
Hinds31878624
Jackson24352379
Rankin21928388
Lee15450235
Madison14547279
Jones13789241
Forrest13428250
Lauderdale11944315
Lowndes10966185
Lamar10491135
Pearl River9454237
Lafayette8462138
Hancock7703126
Washington7371157
Oktibbeha7118130
Monroe6740174
Warren6656176
Pontotoc6620102
Neshoba6613206
Panola6466131
Marshall6398132
Bolivar6268146
Union596794
Pike5794152
Alcorn5646101
Lincoln5421134
George494979
Scott471198
Tippah466081
Prentiss464881
Leflore4631144
Itawamba4605105
Adams4577119
Tate4553109
Copiah445692
Simpson4423116
Yazoo440386
Wayne438572
Covington427894
Marion4222107
Sunflower4217104
Coahoma4127104
Leake407687
Newton381079
Grenada3700108
Stone358764
Tishomingo358091
Attala330589
Jasper328565
Winston313491
Clay306775
Chickasaw297867
Clarke290694
Calhoun278145
Holmes267287
Smith262450
Yalobusha232847
Tallahatchie225851
Walthall217763
Greene216048
Lawrence211440
Perry204855
Amite204055
Webster201845
Noxubee185940
Montgomery179356
Jefferson Davis170942
Carroll168238
Tunica159039
Benton147538
Kemper141341
Choctaw133026
Claiborne131637
Humphreys129038
Franklin119128
Quitman106328
Wilkinson104539
Jefferson94234
Sharkey64020
Issaquena1937
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 814363

Reported Deaths: 15179
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson1141131910
Mobile722941323
Madison52048686
Shelby37315341
Baldwin37098540
Tuscaloosa34973599
Montgomery33996725
Lee23158240
Calhoun22168470
Morgan20675372
Etowah19770496
Marshall18258300
Houston17314405
St. Clair15924337
Cullman15333290
Limestone15239198
Elmore15095284
Lauderdale14163294
Talladega13728272
DeKalb12575259
Walker11096366
Blount10104174
Autauga9904146
Jackson9795180
Coffee9182189
Dale8866181
Colbert8794200
Tallapoosa7045195
Escambia6747127
Covington6688179
Chilton6595160
Russell626358
Franklin5936105
Chambers5562142
Marion4960126
Dallas4897199
Clarke473482
Pike4721105
Geneva4564126
Winston4478101
Lawrence4269117
Bibb421786
Barbour356075
Marengo334189
Monroe330662
Randolph327763
Butler324894
Pickens314082
Henry311265
Hale309487
Cherokee300557
Fayette291079
Washington251151
Cleburne247058
Crenshaw243775
Clay240867
Macon230762
Lamar218146
Conecuh185752
Coosa179038
Lowndes174161
Wilcox167838
Bullock151744
Perry138040
Sumter131138
Greene125844
Choctaw87027
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