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New trial is sought in Ga. slayings

ATLANTA -- The man blamed for killing 24 young Atlanta blacks wants a new trial based on his assertions that members of the Ku Klux Klan were responsible for the deaths and that evidence used against him was unreliable.

The federal court filing says Wayne Williams, 45, should be retried because law enforcement officials covered up evidence and carpet fibers linking him to the crimes wouldn't stand up under scientific scrutiny.

Williams is serving two life sentences for the murders of Nathaniel Cater, 27, and Jimmy Ray Payne, 21. Most of the victims in the slayings between 1979 and 1981 were children.

Williams, who is black, alleges in his petition filed Monday that authorities didn't tell the defense about evidence that the KKK could have been responsible for the murders.

John Bankhead, Georgia Bureau of Investigation spokesman, called the court filing "nonsense."

"They've made all kinds of claims over the years, and it hasn't held water yet," Bankhead said. "They got the right guy."

Williams has been imprisoned since 1984 and will be eligible for parole in October 2005.

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