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Judge drops charges against black man tried SIX TIMES for quadruple murder at Mississippi furniture store after he'd already served 23 years in prison

US prosecutors dropped charges Friday against a Mississippi black man who was tried six times and spent more than 20 years in prison for the same murders.
Despite always maintaining his innocence, Curtis Flowers, 50, served 23 years for a quadruple murder committed in Winona, Mississippi in July 1996. 
The fatal shooting occurred at Tardy Furniture and the victims were store owner Bertha Tardy, 59, and three employees, Carmen Rigby, 45, Derrick 'BoBo' Stewart, 16, and Robert Golden, 42. 
Prosecutors in the six trials alleged that Flowers, a former Tardy employee, had stolen a .380-caliber pistol and shot the victims execution-style. 
Flowers was alleged to have killed Tardy as payback for docking in pay over damaged batteries and firing him, killing the other three people to get rid of witnesses, CNN reported. 
Flowers was sentenced to death four times in the case. 
Each of the convictions and death sentences in the first three trials was overturned by the Mississippi Supreme Court for prosecutorial misconduct. The next two ended in hung juries.  
In 2010 Flowers was convicted a final time and sentenced to death.
FFlowers was released on bond in December 2019 (pictured) after his most recent murder conviction was overturned by the US Supreme Court on grounds of racial bias
FFlowers was released on bond in December 2019 (pictured) after his most recent murder conviction was overturned by the US Supreme Court on grounds of racial bias
A judge dismissed the charges against Flowers with prejudice, so he cannot be tried again
A judge dismissed the charges against Flowers with prejudice, so he cannot be tried again
Flowers (in 2004) had already served 23 years for the quadruple murder charges and been tried six times over the years since the July 1996 incident
Flowers (in 2004) had already served 23 years for the quadruple murder charges and been tried six times over the years since the July 1996 incident
But this decision was overturned in 2019 by the US Supreme Court because of what it called a prosecutor's 'relentless, determined effort to rid the jury of black individuals.'
That prosecutor, Doug Evans, had been on the case from the outset.
Evans was ultimately accused last year by the US Supreme Court of trying hard to keep black people off the jury and eventually resigned from the case. 
In January, he agreed to step down from the case and the state attorney general Lynn Fitch started the proceedings from scratch.
She asked that the case be thrown out, and a judge agreed.  
Flowers had been released on bail in December 2019, although another trial was still possible. 
On Friday, however, Mississippi´s attorney general dismissed the charges against Flowers. 
Now, because a judge dismissed Flowers' capital case with prejudice, he cannot be retried for the murders.   
Following the dismissal, Flowers said in a statement: 'I am finally free from the injustice that left me locked in a box for 23 years,' adding 'The day I've prayed for is here at last.'
Victim Carmen Rigby's son - who was also best friend of victim BoBo Stewart - is still convinced that Flowers is guilty of the quadruple murder. 
Flowers was accused of having killed Bertha Tardy, 59, the owner of the furniture store where he had once worked
Flowers was also accused of killing furniture store employee Robert Golden, 42
Flowers was accused of having killed Bertha Tardy, 59 (left), the owner of the furniture store where he had once worked, as well as three employees, including Robert Golden, 42 (right)
The other two alleged victims of Flowers were Carmen Rigby, 45
Derrick 'BoBo' Stewart, 16, was also killed during the shooting
The other two alleged victims of Flowers were Carmen Rigby, 45 (left) and Derrick 'BoBo' Stewart, 16 (right), who also worked at the furniture store
Prosecutor Doug Evans (center) was accused of trying hard to keep black people off the jury and eventually resigned from the case. He is seen in court in 2010 with a witness (right) in Flowers' last quadruple murder case
Prosecutor Doug Evans (center) was accused of trying hard to keep black people off the jury and eventually resigned from the case. He is seen in court in 2010 with a witness (right) in Flowers' last quadruple murder case 
'The evidence that we have and it seems that you can’t deny some of this evidence,' Brian Rigby told WBLT
'You can have some witnesses that can recant their stories from time to time but there’s still an overwhelming amount of evidence that you can’t explain.'
He said that his family 'don’t want just anybody held responsible for the murders. We want the person that did it to be held responsible. And if I felt for a minute that we had the wrong person I would be fighting for him.'   
Rigby said that the system failed them and that Friday has been 'the toughest day' since his mother and best friend were murdered. 
Flowers' case became well known in a podcast called In the Dark, which focused on his story for three years. 
In the Dark journalist Madeleine Baran told the news station that Evans is to blame for everything that Flowers and the victims' families have gone through.    
All the 'data gathering and fact gathering adds up to a logical and very, frankly, airtight conclusion that Curtis Flowers was tried in a case that was replete with prosecutorial misconduct,' Baran said. 
'And that’s not just something that we found. That’s the findings of the Mississippi Supreme Court several times in this case and also the U.S. Supreme Court.'
Flowers' attorney, Rob McDuff, told CNN that the case against Flowers 'never made sense' because he was 26 at the time and had no criminal record 'and nothing in his history to suggest he would commit a crime like this. As time went by, even more evidence emerged to corroborate his innocence.'
Baran noted Flowers' family's unwavering support of his innocence, saying that the 'quality of hope' that they have had since his ordeal began is 'overwhelming' and 'remarkable.'   
Flowers' family said in a statement to CNN: We have prayed for this day and are looking forward to the future knowing that our brother will not be going back to prison. We know our Mom is looking down and our only wish is that she could have been here to welcome Curtis home.'
Flowers' mother died while he was in prison.  

2 comments:

  1. once a nigger always a nigger

    ReplyDelete
  2. I would like to have had this article lay out what one of the victim's friends is saying is evidence that makes them think Flowers did it, and I would have liked this article to have laid out the evidence that Flower's attorney says has come to light proving he was the wrong man convicted.

    ReplyDelete