GUILTY MS - Four people killed in Tardy Furniture shooting, Winona, 16 July 1996

Discussion in 'Recently Sentenced and Beyond' started by Steely Dan, Jun 18, 2010.

  1. Steely Dan

    Steely Dan Former Member

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    Link

    This CNN article talks about the controversy surrounding his six trials. I don't know enough about the case to form an opinion. If anyone has more on this I'd like to read it. Whether it's a link or someone who's followed these trials from the beginning.

    Winona, Mississippi (CNN) -- The fatigue was palpable by the eighth day of Curtis Flowers' sixth murder trial.

    On the ninth day -- Friday -- Curtis, 40, was found guilty of four counts of murder in the July 16, 1996 shooting deaths of four people inside the Tardy family's furniture store in downtown Winona.

    The seven women and five men on the jury took just half an hour to resolve a case that has haunted the courts of Montgomery County, Mississippi, for 13 years. Flowers was found guilty for counts of murder, said deputy court administrator Patrick Black.

    "I'm not surprised by the verdict, given the makeup of the jury, but I am a little surprised by the speed," said Alan Bean, who got involved in the case through his non-profit group, Friends of Justice, which examines cases of suspected wrongful prosecutions.

    Three times before, Flowers was found guilty, but the convictions were overturned by the appeals courts. He received two death sentences, which also were overturned.

    Two other trials ended with hung juries.
     
  2. KayElJay

    KayElJay Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    http://www.wtva.com/news/State_denies_petition_in_appeal_of_Curtis_Flowers.html
     
  3. LucyParsons

    LucyParsons Member

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    Glad to see there is a thread devoted to this case

    I would recommend checking out the podcast series "In the Dark"- Season two is solely about this case- there are six episodes out so far, and based on those I don't see how the hell Flowers was ever convicted

    In the Dark, Season 2 | Podcast | APM Reports
     
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  4. JerseyGirl

    JerseyGirl Staff Member Staff Member Forum Coordinators

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    As of an order issued Friday, Flowers will go before the Supreme Court — which could decide whether his guilty verdict will be overturned or upheld once and for all.

    Flowers’s current appeal revolves around racism in jury selection. And its outcome could have serious ramifications — not only for Flowers himself, but for the racial makeup of juries around the country.

    On Friday, following the Supreme Court announcement that it would hear the case, In the Dark released an update episode discussing the order and what it could mean for Flowers’s future.

    Curtis Flowers was tried 6 times for the same crime. Now the Supreme Court will hear his case.
     
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  5. YESorNO

    YESorNO The Queen (aka "mrsmuir") SWBB

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    Lawyers seek to question prosecutor in Curtis Flowers’ murder case
    Attorneys make new appeal to Mississippi Supreme Court


    Dec 17, 2018

    "JACKSON, Miss. —
    Defense lawyers are seeking to question a district attorney who has tried a man six times in a disputed death penalty case.

    In a brief filed last week, that's among many pieces of evidence that Curtis Flowers' lawyers demanded access to as Flowers makes a new appeal to the Mississippi Supreme Court.

    After five previous trials featuring hung juries or overturned convictions, Flowers was convicted and sentenced to death in a sixth trial in 2010 for killing four people at a Winona furniture store in 1996...."

    Lawyers seek to question prosecutor in Curtis Flowers’ murder case

    [​IMG]
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
     
  6. YESorNO

    YESorNO The Queen (aka "mrsmuir") SWBB

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    Mississippi man faces sixth capital murder trial in 1996 shootings


    June 7, 2010

    "...Flowers, 40, is believed to be the only person in recent U.S. history to be tried six times on the same capital murder charges....

    The prosecution's case is based largely on circumstantial evidence. There is no DNA, the alleged murder weapon has not been found and eyewitnesses who say they saw Flowers the day of the shooting have provided conflicting accounts....
    Prosecutors allege that Flowers, a former employee, stole a gun from his uncle's car and shot Tardy because she had fired him two weeks before the killings and docked his pay for damaging a pair of batteries. He allegedly shot the others to eliminate witnesses, and then took money from the cash register, which elevated the offense to capital murder and made him eligible for the death penalty.

    The .380-caliber pistol used in the shootings has not been found, but investigators matched bullets at the scene to shell casings from the gun owned by Flowers' uncle, which has also not been recovered. Another witness who came forward months after the shooting and said she saw Flowers "leaning" on his uncle's car around 7:15 a.m. the day of shootings. The same day, his uncle, Doyle Simpson, reported that a gun had been stolen from his car.

    A neighbor said she saw Flowers around 7:30 a.m. outside his home wearing Fila sneakers. Another witness testified that he saw two men standing across the street from Tardy's around 10 a.m., and that one of them was Flowers. Another woman said she saw Flowers running out of the store the morning of the shootings while she was driving toward the store with a friend.

    A trace analyst expert determined that a bloody footprint at the scene came from a size 10.5 Grant Hill Fila sneaker; investigators found a shoebox for a 10.5 Grant Hill Fila at the home where Flowers lived with his girlfriend, but found no sneakers.

    The three different teams of lawyers to represent Flowers have argued that witnesses who said they saw him that morning came forward with shaky stories months after the shootings, enticed by a $30,000 reward. They also said prosecutors failed to conclusively link Flowers to the weapon or the crime scene through the bloody footprint, and questioned whether the evidence proved that money was taken from the cash register...."

    Mississippi man faces sixth capital murder trial in 1996 shootings - CNN.com
    ----

    The Tardy Furniture store murders: What happened that morning in July '96?
    In the hours after the shootings, investigators were under tremendous pressure to solve the crime. But they had little evidence to go on.


    May 1, 2018

    The Tardy Furniture store murders: What happened that morning in July '96? | In the Dark | APM Reports
    ---

    In the Dark


    "Video from September 19, 2018
    Investigative journalists for a nationally-acclaimed podcast talk about their year-long probe into the reasons why a Winona man has been tried six times for a quadruple murder. Curtis Flowers has been in the Mississippi state penitentiary in Parchman for 21 years even though he has won repeated appeals. Madeleine Baran and Samara Freemark reveal how their work focused on the prosecutor, the witnesses and how justice works – or doesn’t."


    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
     
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2018
  7. sleepysleuth

    sleepysleuth New Member

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    I was just doing some follow up reading and came across an update that says a man named Jeffrey Armstrong found a gun that matched the type used in this crime in a crawlspace about 700ft from the furniture store. He turned it into the police, who turned it over to the D.A.'s office and it mysteriously disappeared before it could make it to the crime lab. I wonder if any research has been done on the previous owners/occupants of the house?

    I believe the address is 105 Knox Street. The current owner purchased it in 1999. I wonder who lived there prior?

    Related article: https://www.clarionledger.com/story...le-killers-behind-quadruple-murder/813262002/

    And YouTube Video:
     
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  8. YESorNO

    YESorNO The Queen (aka "mrsmuir") SWBB

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    Doug Evans running unopposed for reelection
    The controversial Mississippi prosecutor will win another four-year term and could decide if Curtis Flowers faces a seventh trial.


    March 5, 2019

    "With the U.S. Supreme Court about to hear oral arguments in the case of Curtis Flowers, the outlines of a possible seventh trial in the 22-year saga are beginning to take shape.

    Flowers has been tried six times for the 1996 murders of four people at a furniture store in Winona, Mississippi, and remains on death row. Doug Evans — the district attorney who's prosecuted all six trials and received national attention for his handling of the case — will run for reelection unopposed. The Mississippi Secretary of State's office announced on Friday evening, at the close of the candidate filing period for the 2019 election, that no one had decided to challenge Evans in the state's Fifth Circuit Court District.

    Evans' conduct has been widely criticized following revelations in the second season of In the Dark, a podcast by APM Reports. The Supreme Court is reviewing Flowers' contention that Evans dismissed African-Americans in jury selection because of their race, which is unconstitutional. The High Court will hear oral arguments in the case on March 20.

    Evans recently told reporters for In the Dark that he doesn't expect the justices to reverse Flowers' 2010 conviction. If they do, Evans would be the one to decide if Flowers is tried a seventh time, and he could very well end up prosecuting the case again himself.

    That trial, however, might look very different from the previous six. According to a 327-page petition filed with the Mississippi Supreme Court — another of last week's developments — Flowers' attorneys have a bundle of new evidence they'd like to get onto the record....

    [​IMG] ...."

    Doug Evans running unopposed for reelection | In the Dark | APM Reports
    ---

    2019 02 28 PCR Petition (327 pages)

    APM Reports Documents
    ---

    [​IMG]
    (Victims:Bertha Tardy, 59 [Tardy Furniture store owner]; Carmen Rigby, 45 [bookkeeper]; Robert Golden, 42 [delivery worker]; Derrick Stewart, 16 [part-time employee])
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
     
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2019
  9. YESorNO

    YESorNO The Queen (aka "mrsmuir") SWBB

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    Black Jurors Exclusion in Death Row Case Gets High Court Airing

    March 13, 2019

    "-Black man tried six times for same Mississippi murders
    -Supreme Court arguments on jury selection discrimination set for March 20

    That a man was tried six times for the same crime is remarkable enough.

    But it’s a Mississippi prosecutor’s pattern of excluding black jurors from the trials of Curtis Flowers—a black man facing execution—that’s the focus of upcoming U.S. Supreme Court arguments.

    The decision in the case, expected by late June, “will tell us a lot about the Court’s commitment to eradicating jury discrimination,” said Chris Kemmitt, senior counsel at the NAACP Legal Defense & Educational Fund, Inc., which filed an amicus brief supporting Flowers.

    The case is a test of the Constitution’s promises of equality and fair trials. It’s also a test of how the Roberts Court interprets those promises in 2019.

    Jury Selection Record

    At issue in the appeal is whether Mississippi’s top court correctly applied the Supreme Court’s landmark jury selection precedent when it condoned white District Attorney Doug Evans’ alleged aversion to black people deciding Flowers’ fate, as the state prosecutor serially struck African Americans from juries in his trials. The case is set for argument March 20....

    Focusing on the jury issue at the high court, he wants the justices to take into account Evans’ jury selection record throughout all of the trials—he blocked black jurors 41 out of 43 times when he could—instead of just the most recent one, where he accepted one black juror and then blocked the next five potential ones, creating a nearly all-white jury that sentenced Flowers to death....

    The case is Flowers v. Mississippi, U.S., 17-9572, oral argument set for 3/20/19."

    Black Jurors Exclusion in Death Row Case Gets High Court Airing

    [​IMG]
    ---

    Flowers v. Mississippi, U.S., 17-9572

    Curtis Giovanni Flowers, Petitioner vs. Mississippi, Docket No. 17-9572 (U.S. Jun 26, 2018), Court Docket
     
  10. YESorNO

    YESorNO The Queen (aka "mrsmuir") SWBB

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    Flowers v. Mississippi: What to expect
    How the arguments in the Curtis Flowers case might play out before the Supreme Court.


    March 13, 2019

    "On Wednesday, March 20, the U.S. Supreme Court will hold oral arguments in the Curtis Flowers case, the subject of the second season of the investigative podcast In the Dark. Starting today APM Reports will publish a series of stories leading up to the hearing about the arguments, facts and history that lie at the heart of the case. Coming Thursday: The Supreme Court precedents that could set Flowers free.

    It's been a long climb, but Curtis Flowers has finally reached the pinnacle of the American justice system.

    For more than two decades, he's been trying to prove he wasn't the person who murdered four people at Tardy Furniture in Winona, Mississippi, on July 16, 1996. Flowers' appeal of his 2010 conviction, handed down at his sixth trial for the crime, has stretched on for nine years.

    Now, at last, on Wednesday morning, March 20, his case will go before the highest court in the nation. Few defendants get such a chance. Roughly 1 percent of appeals to the U.S. Supreme Court reach this stage.

    Flowers won't be there when the court's nine justices hear oral arguments on whether to overturn his conviction; he'll remain in his cell on death row in Mississippi's Parchman prison. One of his lawyers, Sheri Lynn Johnson of the Cornell University Death Penalty Project, will argue on his behalf. Because Flowers is the "petitioner" to the court, Johnson will go first. After that, Mississippi Assistant Attorney General Jason Davis will present the state's response. Each side will have 30 minutes....

    Here's what the two sides have argued so far...."

    Flowers v. Mississippi: What to expect | In the Dark | APM Reports
     
  11. YESorNO

    YESorNO The Queen (aka "mrsmuir") SWBB

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    Argument preview: Justices to weigh allegations of racial discrimination in jury selection

    March 14th, 2019

    "During jury selection, some potential jurors can be removed “for cause” – that is, when a judge believes that a juror cannot be impartial in deciding the case. The lawyers trying the case also have a certain number of “peremptory strikes,” which allow them to reject jurors without providing a reason. However, the Supreme Court ruled in Batson v. Kentucky that prosecutors cannot use their peremptory strikes to remove prospective jurors from the jury pool based only on the jurors’ race. Next week the Supreme Court will hear oral argument in the case of a Mississippi death-row inmate who was convicted by a jury that included just one African-American juror. The inmate, Curtis Flowers, argues that the jury selection in his case violated the Constitution; in particular, he contends, the lower courts should have considered the lead prosecutor’s history of racially motivated strikes...."

    Argument preview: Justices to weigh allegations of racial discrimination in jury selection - SCOTUSblog
     
  12. YESorNO

    YESorNO The Queen (aka "mrsmuir") SWBB

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    The Supreme Court cases that could free Curtis Flowers
    The outcome of Flowers v. Mississippi may hinge on how justices interpret a few key precedents designed to bring more fairness and equality to jury selection.


    March 14, 2019

    "On Wednesday, March 20, the U.S. Supreme Court will hold oral arguments in the Curtis Flowers case, the subject of the second season of the investigative podcast In the Dark. This is the second story in a series about the arguments, facts and history that lie at the heart of the case. Coming Friday: A breakdown of the disputed jury selection from Flowers' 2010 trial.
    When the nine justices of the U.S. Supreme Court decide the fate of Curtis Flowers — whose case will be argued on Wednesday — they will weigh more than a century of judicial precedents, complex arguments and intricate legal theories. But underneath all that, the case will boil down to two core American ideals: fairness and equality.

    At issue is whether Flowers, a black man in Mississippi, had his constitutional rights violated by a white prosecutor. Flowers' side argues that the prosecutor, Doug Evans, intentionally struck black jurors because of their race at Flowers' 2010 trial, his sixth for the 1996 murders of four people in Winona, Mississippi...."

    The Supreme Court cases that could free Curtis Flowers | In the Dark | APM Reports
     
  13. YESorNO

    YESorNO The Queen (aka "mrsmuir") SWBB

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    The five jury strikes that could decide Curtis Flowers' fate
    Inside the 2010 jury selection at the heart of the Supreme Court case.


    March 15, 2019

    "The fate of Curtis Flowers may well hinge on how the U.S. Supreme Court views the removal of a handful of African-Americans from jury selection at his 2010 trial.

    The key issue is whether the prosecutor in the case, Doug Evans, violated Flowers' rights by dismissing black jurors because of their race, which is unconstitutional.

    In that 2010 trial — the sixth time Flowers was tried for the murders of four people at the Tardy Furniture store in Winona, Mississippi, in 1996 — 156 people were called for jury selection. A hundred jurors were removed for cause, meaning they were dismissed because they'd indicated that, for various reasons, they couldn't judge the case fairly.

    Of the 56 who remained, only 15 were black. What came next was the second stage of jury selection, in which lawyers go down the jury list in order, taking turns striking or accepting people until the jury is filled.

    As the lawyers went down the list, Evans faced six African-Americans who he could have placed on the jury. Instead, he used his peremptory strikes to remove five of them. That resulted in a jury of 11 whites and one African-American who later convicted Flowers and sentenced him to death.

    The removal of those five African-Americans now lies at the heart of Flowers' argument to the Supreme Court that his conviction should be overturned. His lawyers argue that Evans dismissed those five jurors because of their race. That can be very difficult to prove. How do you show someone's intent? And, as lawyers for the state of Mississippi point out in their briefs, Evans offered multiple reasons for dismissing each juror that were unrelated to race.

    This is where Evans' history of removing jurors may be critical to Flowers' case. In all six trials, Evans used most of his jury strikes against African-Americans, and the juries that were nearly all white gave Evans the result he wanted: In the four trials that ended in convictions of Flowers, the juries had at least 11 whites; in the two trials in which the juries had more than one African-American, the trial ended in a hung jury. And then there are the two previous Flowers trials in which courts ruled that Evans used race in jury selection.

    What follows is an examination of the five black jurors Evans struck and the arguments the prosecution and defense presented about them during jury selection...."

    The five jury strikes that could decide Curtis Flowers' fate | In the Dark | APM Reports
     
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    YESorNO The Queen (aka "mrsmuir") SWBB

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    Curtis Flowers: What you need to know about the Winona furniture store quadruple homicides

    March 18, 2019

    "In 1996, four people were killed execution-style inside Tardy Furniture, which faces one of the busiest streets in the small town of Winona. Eight days before these murders, a side door key was stolen. Does this theft provide a clue as to how the killers made their getaway? ..."

    Curtis Flowers: What you need to know about the Winona furniture store quadruple homicides
     
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    YESorNO The Queen (aka "mrsmuir") SWBB

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    How might the Supreme Court rule in Flowers v. Mississippi?
    A discussion with Supreme Court observer Dan Epps.


    March 19, 2019

    "No one can predict exactly how the U.S. Supreme Court will handle a case. But few prognosticators are better positioned to make such predictions than Dan Epps. He clerked for Justice Anthony Kennedy in 2009 and 2010, when most of the current justices were on the court. He later worked as an appellate lawyer, and he now teaches law at Washington University in St. Louis. He describes himself as an "academic and commentator."

    He spoke with reporter Madeleine Baran about how the Supreme Court works and how the Curtis Flowers case might play out. Their conversation has been edited for clarity and length...."

    How might the Supreme Court rule in Flowers v. Mississippi? | In the Dark | APM Reports
     
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  16. YESorNO

    YESorNO The Queen (aka "mrsmuir") SWBB

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    Kavanaugh may be key to freeing Curtis Flowers
    At oral arguments, questions from the Supreme Court's newest justice — and a possible swing vote — seemed to side with the Mississippi death row inmate's claim that he was the victim of racial discrimination in jury selection.


    March 20, 2019

    "The newest and perhaps most controversial member of the U.S. Supreme Court, Brett Kavanaugh, appeared to side heavily with lawyers for Curtis Flowers during oral arguments this morning...."

    Kavanaugh may be key to freeing Curtis Flowers | In the Dark | APM Reports
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    U.S. Supreme Court hears Curtis Flowers case (with clip)

    March 20, 2019

    "Speech to Text for U.S. Supreme Court hears Curtis Flowers case
    Below is the closed-captioning text associated with this video. Since this uses automated speech to text spelling and grammar may not be accurate...."

    U.S. Supreme Court hears Curtis Flowers case
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Supreme Court examination of jury discrimination prompts rare question from Clarence Thomas

    March 20

    "The Supreme Court seemed deeply troubled Wednesday about the actions of a Mississippi prosecutor who has tried an African American man six times for a quadruple murder and has blocked the vast majority of black potential jurors.

    The hour-long argument brought a surprise: a question by Justice Clarence Thomas, and one that went in an opposite direction. He inquired about the race of jurors dismissed by defense lawyers for Curtis Flowers, drawing out the information that they were white...."

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/poli...4dbcf38ba41_story.html?utm_term=.9adb945608dc
    ---

    Oral argument transcript:

    https://www.supremecourt.gov/oral_arguments/argument_transcripts/2018/17-9572_2c83.pdf
     
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2019
  17. YESorNO

    YESorNO The Queen (aka "mrsmuir") SWBB

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    Who is Doug Evans, the Mississippi district attorney who tried Curtis Flowers six times?

    March 21, 2019

    "On Wednesday, the U.S. Supreme Court scrutinized the past actions of one Mississippi district attorney and didn't appear to like what they saw....

    Who is Doug Evans? ..."

    Who is Doug Evans, the Mississippi district attorney who tried Curtis Flowers six times?
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    Flowers opinion expected by summer

    March 21, 2019

    "....The Supreme Court Justices are expected to release their decision before the end of this term in June...."

    Flowers opinion expected by summer
     
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    YESorNO The Queen (aka "mrsmuir") SWBB

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    'We can't take the history out of the case'
    Justice Brett Kavanaugh may be key to freeing Curtis Flowers


    March 20, 2019

    "...Flowers needs at least five votes to win a reversal of his conviction. Four would most likely come from the more liberal block of justices who tend to rule in favor of defendant's rights — Kagan, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Sonia Sotomayor and Breyer. The fifth would have to be delivered by a Republican-appointee, perhaps Roberts, who in several recent rulings has been willing to split from the right, especially in matters of racial bias in criminal cases. After his comments Wednesday, it's easy to imagine Kavanaugh providing the swing vote too.

    Flowers didn't attend the arguments. He remained in his death row cell at Mississippi's Parchman prison. But more than 400 people — Winonans, law students, and podcast fans, some lining up as early as 3 a.m. on the marble steps of the Supreme Court — tried to attend the oral argument. They came from as far as Texas, California and France. Several held signs that read, "Free Curtis...."

    Justice Brett Kavanaugh may be key to freeing Curtis Flowers | 'We can't take the history out of the case' | APM Reports

    [​IMG]
    (More than 400 people lined up outside the U.S. Supreme Court building on the morning of oral arguments in Flowers v. Mississippi. /Greg Kahn for APM Reports)

    [​IMG]
    (Attorney Sheri Johnson stops to comment after oral arguments in the case of Mississippi v. Flowers at the Supreme Court in Washington, D.C., March 20, 2019 /.Greg Kahn for APM Reports)
     
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