*The matter of who legally owns Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s 1964 Nobel Peace Prize medal has been settled among his three children, but the terms were not immediately known, a judge said in an Atlanta court on Monday.
A trial to settle the years-long dispute was scheduled to start today, but an Atlanta judge announced that a settlement was reached, although he did not know details.
For the longest, King’s two sons have been battling his surviving daughter over whether the medal should be sold. The three siblings serve as directors of a corporation formed to manage the estate of King, who had no will when he was assassinated in 1968 by a white supremacist in Memphis, Tennessee.
Martin Luther King III and Dexter King voted in January 2014 to sell the medal and a Bible their father carried during the civil rights movement in the 1960s. Bernice King objected to a sale, calling the heirlooms “sacred” to the family.
Superior Court Judge Robert McBurney had ordered the items to be kept in a court-controlled safe deposit box pending the outcome of the lawsuit. On Monday, McBurney said in court that he would turn over the keys to the box to Martin Luther King III, the chairman of the estate board, as requested by both parties in their joint motion to dismiss the lawsuit.
Last month, McBurney ruled that the Bible, which President Obama used in his second inauguration, belonged to the estate.
Former President Jimmy Carter was one of the mediators who had worked to secure a resolution of the lawsuit. Prospects for a settlement had been described as fair to poor, according to a court summary.