Video Of James Earl Ray Surfaces (NBC33 VIDEO)

By Emma Koch

April 4, 2013 Updated Apr 4, 2013 at 5:04 PM EDT

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (www.nbc33.com) – On the 45th anniversary of the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr., some extraordinary video of his assassin is being released.

A highlight of the never-publicly-seen video shows James Earl Ray sitting in handcuffs on the plane the FBI used to bring him back to Memphis and the then-Sheriff of Shelby County, Bill Morris, reading ray his rights.

The date is July 19, 1968, just over three months after civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. was gunned down as he stood on a balcony of the Lorraine Motel in Memphis.

Investigators believed Ray fired the fatal shot from the bathroom of a rooming house nearby.

So, he fled the country but was apprehended at London's Heathrow airport in June and brought back to Memphis that July.

After being fitted with a bulletproof vest, and hustled through areas where the general public was present Ray ends up at the Shelby County jail where he had to strip naked, then undergo an examination by a doctor.

The Shelby County Sheriff's Department purchased the video recorder specifically to record all the proceedings as Ray's case made its way through the courts. It was new technology and the camera operators often proved it but eventually got the hang of it.

And as it turned out, there weren't that many proceedings to record because just months after his capture Ray pled guilty to killing King and was sentenced to 99 years in prison where he died at age 70 in April 1998.

30 years after King's assassination and long after the two and a half hours of video stayed stowed in a box, until now.

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