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Emmett Till: Grand jury fails to indict woman whose accusation led to lynching

A grand jury in Mississippi has decided not to indict a woman who accused Emmett Till of making a pass at her, leading to the teen’s murder nearly 70 years ago, The Associated Press reported.

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The grand jury in Leflore County declined to indict Carolyn Bryant Donham, who is white, for any involvement in the kidnapping and death of Till, a then 14-year-old Black teenager, saying there was not enough evidence to support the indictment, district attorney Dewayne Richardson said in a statement.

An unserved arrest warrant for Donham was discovered in June in the basement of the Leflore county courthouse.

The warrant charged Donham, her then-husband, Roy Bryant, and brother-in-law, JW Milam, in Till’s abduction in 1955.

The men were arrested and tried for Till’s murder. Donham, who was 21 at the time, was not arrested. Donham is 87 now. She has never been charged in connection with Till’s abduction and murder.

The grand jury heard more than seven hours of testimony from investigators and witnesses, the Guardian reported.

According to The Associated Press, which obtained a copy of Donham’s unpublished memoir, she claimed she was unaware of what had happened to Till after she accused him of making sexual comments to her and grabbing her as she worked in a family store in Money, Mississippi.

According to Donham, her then-husband and brother-in-law brought Till to her in the middle of the night for her to identify him as the person who grabbed and insulted her. She said she tried to help Till by saying he was not the one they were looking for.

Till’s battered body was found days later in a river with a fan tied around his neck.

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