King is considered by investigators to have been the "ringleader" in Byrd's killing, Sheriff Billy Rowles told KFDM-TV.
King, Lawrence Russell Brewer and Shawn Berry are accused of picking up Byrd, saying they would give him a ride home, CNN reported. However, the men drove Byrd to a secluded area, where they beat him and spray-painted his face, police said. The men then chained Byrd to the back of a pickup truck and dragged him until he died, according to police.
Rowles described King as a racist who bragged about the killing. King, however, has maintained his innocence.
"He has absolutely no remorse right now," Rowles said. "He's still saying he wasn't there."
Brewer was executed in 2011, and Berry is serving a life sentence.