Grand jury declines to indict the 88-year-old white woman whose false accusations led to Emmett Till's death in 1955
- A Grand Jury declined to indict Carolyn Bryant Donham for her role in Emmett Till's murder.
- In 1955, Bryant Donham falsely accused a 14-year-old Till of catcalling and groping her.
A Mississippi grand jury has declined to indict an 88 year old white woman's whose false allegations against Emmett Till in 1955 led to his murder, the LeFore County District Attorney announced Tuesday.
Carolyn Bryant Donham accused the then-14-year-old Black boy of catcalling and groping her at her family's shop nearly 70 years ago, which prompted two white men to abduct, torture, and lynch Till.
Till was innocent.
The men were arrested and acquitted by an all-white jury, but the recent discovery of an unserved arrest warrant for Donham from 1955, as well as publicity around her unpublished memoir, has raised questions around her case and the lack of consequences she's faced for Till's killing.
Recent discoveries led to fresh eyes on the case
The Department of Justice announced last year that it was ending its re-investigation of Till's murder, but in June new evidence emerged locally to put fresh eyes on the case.
A group searching the basement of the Leflore County Courthouse found the unserved arrest warrant charging Donham, who was 21 at the time, along with her then-husband Roy Bryant and brother-in-law J.W. Milam in Till's abduction in 1955, the AP reported.
The two men were arrested and acquitted, but Donham was never charged.
The Associated Press received a copy of Donham's memoir, "I Am More Than a Wolf Whistle." In it, she said she didn't know what would happen to Till, and when the men presented the boy to her one night for identification she denied that they had the right person in an effort to help him, the outlet reported.
Insider has not seen the unpublished memoir.
The Leflore County grand jury considered evidence and testimony about Donham's involvement in the kidnapping and death of Till, Leflore County District Attorney Dewayne Richardson told Insider in a statement.
"After hearing more than seven hours of testimony from witnesses with direct knowledge about this case and the investigators that investigated this case, the Grand Jury determined that there was not sufficient evidence to indict
Donham," the statement said. "The Grand Jury heard testimony from witnesses detailing the investigation of this case from 2004 to the present day."
The Grand Jury considered the charges of kidnapping and manslaughter, but returned a "No Bill" to the charges.
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