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Legal Feud Among Martin Luther King’s Children on Display in Court

FILE - In this Feb. 6, 2006 file photo, the children of Martin Luther King Jr.,and Coretta Scott King, left to right, Dexter Scott King, Rev. Bernice King, Martin Luther King III and Yolanda King participate in a musical tribute to their mother at the new Ebenezer Baptist Church  in Atlanta Monday, Feb. 6, 2006.  A judge in Atlanta is set to hear motions Tuesday, Jan. 13, 2015, in the legal dispute that pits Martin Luther King Jr.’s two sons against his daughter Bernice in a dispute over two of his most cherished items. (AP Photo/John Bazemore, File)
In this Feb. 6, 2006 file photo, the children of Martin Luther King Jr., and Coretta Scott King, left to right, Dexter Scott King, Rev. Bernice King, Martin Luther King III and Yolanda King participate in a musical tribute to their mother at the new Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta Monday, Feb. 6, 2006. (AP Photo/John Bazemore, File)

 

(Los Angeles Times) – A family feud among the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s children was on display in an Atlanta courtroom Tuesday as his heirs sparred over who owns his personal Bible and Nobel Peace Prize medal.

Martin Luther King III and Dexter Scott King want to sell their father’s prized belongings to a private buyer. They contend that their sister, Bernice Albertine King, “secreted and sequestered” the items in violation of a 1995 agreement that gave the for-profit Estate of Martin Luther King Jr. Inc. ownership of all their father’s property.

Bernice King disputes their ownership and contends that any sale of the contested possessions — considered among the most valuable artifacts from the civil rights era — would betray their father’s legacy. “Our father must be turning in his grave,” she said in a public statement last year.

The legal battle is part of a wider power struggle among King’s three surviving children: Lawyers are scheduled to appear in the same Atlanta courthouse next week in a separate lawsuit pitting the King estate against the nonprofit Martin Luther King Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change, which is controlled by Bernice.

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