“We have one director who disagrees with a properly taken vote of the corporation,” Hill said, repeatedly saying that Bernice has no individual right of ownership to the items.
“You don’t sell the most prized items of the estate. That’s Bernice King’s position,” Barnum said.
Hill urged McBurney to issue an immediate order asking Bernice to turn over the items, saying the money that would come in from the sale or lease of the items was crucial to the estate’s viability. People or entities interested in buying or leasing the items for public display had come forward but the offers won’t last long, Hill said, though he didn’t say who the interested parties are or why their offers had a short shelf life.
McBurney seemed skeptical that the estate, if proven to be the owner of the items, wouldn’t be able to find a similar deal once the legal dispute is resolved.
“They are as culturally significant today as they were yesterday as they will be tomorrow,” he said, ultimately refusing Hill’s request that the items immediately be turned over.
King was assassinated in Memphis in April 1968. His wife, Coretta Scott King, died in 2006 and Yolanda King, the eldest child, died in 2007. That left the three remaining siblings as the sole shareholders and directors of their father’s estate, but their relationship has deteriorated over legal battles.