The convicted assassin of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. was in critical condition a week after undergoing surgery to repair a hernia.

James Earl Ray's condition has fluctuated since the operation at Columbia Nashville Memorial Hospital. It was downgraded to critical Tuesday, and he remained in critical condition Thursday, said Freda Herndon, a hospital spokeswoman.Ray, 69, who suffers from life-threatening liver disease, had the hernia operation a week ago after getting a routine checkup. Doctors wouldn't say whether his condition is due to the liver disease or some complication of the surgery.