Carolyn Bryant Donham won’t be going to trial over the murder of Emmett Till. A grand jury decided not to indict the elderly woman whose accusations led to the horrific death of the 14-year-old in the 1955, CNN reported.
“After hearing every aspect of the investigation and evidence collected regarding Donham’s involvement, the Grand Jury returned a ‘No Bill’ to the charges of both Kidnapping and Manslaughter,” read a statement from District Attorney Dewayne Richardson. “The murder of Emmett Till remains an unforgettable tragedy in this country and the thoughts and prayers of this nation continue to be with the family of Emmett Till.”
Donham was facing charges of kidnapping and manslaughter.
The investigation into Till’s murder was taken over by his family members who also helm the Emmett Till Foundation. They found an unserved arrest warrant for Donham that was issued in 1955, but she was never arrested. On the back of the warrant, it says Donham couldn’t be located to be served, The New York Times reported.
Till’s cousin Deborah Watts promised that this decision won’t deter her from seeking justice.
“We vow that the pursuit of accountability and Justice For Emmett Till will continue,” she said according to CNN. “Emmett Till’s death will not be in vain.”
This isn’t the first time that Donham escaped justice. In 2007, a grand jury in Mississippi decided not to indict her.
She encountered Till while he was visiting family in Mississippi from Chicago. He walked into a store that her family owned where she was working that day. Donham, who was 20 at the time, claimed that 14-year-old Till grabbed her by the waist and told her that he had never been with a white woman before. Some witnesses said he only whistled at her.
Two nights later, her husband Roy Bryant and his brother-in-law J.W Milan snatched him out of his bed at his uncle’s house and beat him. They then threw his body in the Tallahatchie River. They were later acquitted of his murder.
In 2008, Bryant Donham admitted that she lied about Till grabbing and propositioning her during an interview with professor Timothy Tyson.