James Earl Ray (March 10, 1928 - April 23, 1998) was the convicted assassin of Martin Luther King Jr.
Ray died from complications related to kidney disease, caused by hepatitis C. The hepatitis C was probably contracted as a result of a blood transfusion given after a stabbing whilst at Brushy Mountain State Penitentiary.
In 1997 Martin Luther King's son Dexter King met with Ray, and publicly supported Ray's effort for a trial. Attorney General Janet Reno launched a probe the following year. In 2000 they concluded that there was no credible evidence to support Ray's conspiracy theory claim.