Story at a glance

  • The ex-wife of James Earl Ray, who was convicted of murdering Martin Luther King Jr., is facing animal cruelty charges in Tennessee.
  • The Jackson Police Department reportedly discovered at least three deceased and 44 neglected dogs in squalid conditions at the home of Anna Sandhu Ray.
  • Ray previously faced animal cruelty charges in 1996.

The ex-wife of James Earl Ray, who was convicted of murdering Martin Luther King Jr., is facing animal cruelty charges in Tennessee, according to the nonprofit organization Animal Rescue Corps (ARC).

The Jackson Police Department responded to the residence of Anna Sandhu Ray, 74, on Monday for a wellness check and reportedly discovered at least 44 neglected dogs in squalid conditions.

At least three additional dogs were found deceased, and the ARC stated the home was “piled thick with animal feces, strewn with debris, and soaked in urine.”

“The conditions at Ms. Ray’s home are among the worst we have seen in the ten years we have been dealing with cases where large numbers of animals are suffering,” ARC Executive Director Tim Woodward told the New York Post. “These dogs desperately needed to be removed from that unlivable environment and will need ongoing veterinary care.”

According to the ARC, many of the dogs found were exhibiting “signs of severe, chronic neglect, including emaciation, starvation, mange, dehydration, intestinal worms, external parasites, runny eyes, and alopecia. None of the dogs had access to food or water.”


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A 1996 article in the Los Angeles Times reported that Anna Sandhu Ray was also arrested at that time on similar charges after police found 25 neglected animals and several dead ones in her home.

For the most recent incident, Anna Sandhu Ray has been charged with 44 counts of animal cruelty.

Anna Sandhu Ray married James Earl Ray in 1978 while he was already serving his 99-year sentence for the murder of King Jr. She filed for divorce in 1992, and James Earl Ray died in 1998 at the age of 70.


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Published on Jun 23, 2021