I received word an hour ago that former Gov. Bill Waller (D) passed away this afternoon. Gov. Waller served as governor of Mississippi from 1972-1976, and prior to that, was the Hinds County District Attorney. In his role as DA, Waller twice prosecuted Byron de la Beckwith for the murder of Medgar Evers, although the racially charged jury deadlocked each time. As governor, Waller vetoed the appropriation for the State Sovereignty Commission, effectively ending it.
On a personal note, I enjoyed getting to know Gov. Waller over these past few years. Being back in the Hinds County Courthouse on a regular basis, I would occasionally run into him in court. He was always gracious, kind, and still appreciative of the support my family gave to him nearly 40 years ago in his bid for governor.
His son William Waller, Jr. is the Chief Justice of the Mississippi Supreme Court, and his son Bob Waller is a Jackson Municipal Court Judge. My condolences to the entire Waller family.