Originally created 08/05/98

Klan leader is unlikely to apologize to church

COLUMBIA -- Ku Klux Klan leader Horace King, ordered to pay $15 million in damages for inciting the burning of a predominantly black church, is not likely to apologize despite his lawyer's advice that he consider it, Mr. King's wife said Tuesday.

"No. No. No. If you apologize, that's a thing of guilt," Mary King said from their Pelion home. Her husband, the grand dragon of the South Carolina chapter of the Christian Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, was not home to comment, she said.

Lawyer Gary White said Monday he would suggest that Mr. King apologize to Macedonia Baptist Church, which sued Mr. King, two Klan groups and four former Klansmen involved in the burning, if the congregation agreed to give up on collecting the damages a jury awarded last month.

Mr. White also asked for a new trial and asked for a reduction in the damage award.

Jurors gave Macedonia a $37.8 million verdict after deciding the Klan's message of hate motivated the four KKK members to set the 1995 fire. That was $10 million more than the church's own lawyers sought.

Mr. King and the Christian Knights of the Ku Klux Klan Inc. of North Carolina were ordered to pay $15 million each. The South Carolina affiliate must pay $7 million, while the four men, who are in federal prison, must pay $100,000 or $200,000 each.


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