Curtis Flowers whose death sentence was overturned after he was tried for murder six times is now seeking bail
49-year-old Curtis Flowers had his charges and death sentence overturned in June earlier this year after a case of racial bias in the trail's jury came to light.
A Mississippi man is asking the judge to release him on bail and toss the murder charges against him after he was tried six times and his convictions overturned by the US Supreme Court. The 49-year-old Curtis Flowers had his charges and death sentence overturned in June after a case of racial bias in the trial's jury came to light. Rob McDuff, his lawyer filed the motion at the Montgomery County Circuit Court on Thursday.
Flowers was arrested and charged with regards to a fatal shooting at Tardy Furniture store in downtown Winona in 1996. Four people were found dead inside -- Bertha Tardy, 59, and her three employees Carmen Rigby, 45, Robert Golden, 42 and Derrick Stewart, 16.
Prosecutors believe that Flowers was the killer and he was convicted in the first three trials, but the verdicts were reversed on grounds of prosecutor misconduct. The fourth and fifth trial ended in mistrials because of a deadlocked jury. He was convicted of the crimes four times in total, but the jury had been predominantly white in all cases. Thirty-six black jurors had been blocked from the courtroom. He was sentenced to death in his sixth trial in 2010.
His lawyer, Rob McDuff argued that bail is a requirement after two mistrials in capital murder charges, according to state law. He also argued that Flowers must be granted bail by the Circuit Judge Joseph Loper on "reasonable and affordable terms". The law allows judges to deny bail in case the evidence or the chances of the defendant being guilty are high but his attorney said this was not applicable after the prosecution's witnesses recanted their remarks. He also said that Flowers was not a flight risk or a danger to the community and said he would agree to electronic monitoring.
"In all four instances it was designed to illegally enhance the prosecution’s chances of conviction of Flowers," he said, according to the Associated Press, adding, "Flowers’ half-dozen trials are a study in the tactics and circumstances typifying oppressive prosecutorial misconduct." He did not comment on whether he would seek to have Montgomery County District Attorney Doug Evans removed from from the case. Evans, who tried Flowers in all six trials, said that he was sure of the defendant's guilt.
Flowers has been in custody since 1996.