The ultimate fate of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr's personal Bible and his Noble Peace Prize is still up in the air. But Fulton County Judge Robert McBurney made it clear today, that Bernice King must turn them over to the King Estate and they won't be sold in the immediate future.
"The peace prize and the Bible will be stored together in a safety deposit box. It will be the estate's safety deposit box, and the court will maintain all keys to the safety deposit box until the conclusion of the litigation," said McBurney.
Dexter King and his brother Martin Luther King III requested an emergency injunction to force their sister to return the Bible and peace prize so they could sell them. Bernice King has vowed to prevent that at all costs. Wednesday's decision was a partial victory. The King brothers can't sell the items, but McBurney indicated they have a strong case.
"I think through Mr, Hill's presentation he has helped me understand there is a likelihood that the estate will prevail," said McBurney.
Despite Wednesday's developments, Bernice King's attorney said he remains confident.
"The plaintiffs have to show that there is a substantial likelihood on the merits in order to get the emergency relief. Once we have an opportunity to peel back the onion, once we have an opportunity to really delve into the evidence, we believe we will have an opportunity to change Judge McBurney's mind," said Eric Barnum. "They came in today asking for the items to be turned over to the estate so they could be sold. Judge McBurney denied that request and that is a substantial victory."
None of the King siblings were present during Wednesday's hearing. Both sides are expected to be back in court within the next 30 days.
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