Curtis Flowers could face seventh trial

Updated: Jun. 28, 2019 at 7:34 PM CDT
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) -Curtis Flowers has been tried six times for the 1996 murders of four people in Winona. The U.S. Supreme Court overturned his conviction a week ago. Now, he could be tried a seventh time.

District Attorney Doug Evans told the Grenada Star that “He will have to be retried.” Meanwhile, Evans office would only tell us that the DA had decided not to comment on the case. American Public Media’s In the Dark podcast received a short email from a lady living in the area.

“It said, in my county, there’s a guy that’s been tried six times for the same crime," recalled reporter Parker Yesko of the email they received. "We got that email and we were literally like how can that be possible? Like how can you try one guy six times for the same crime? And that single question drove us down here and it drove us to report on this case now for almost two years.”

Reporter Parker Yesko and others moved to Winona, Mississippi, for nearly a year. And based on what they learned, they anticipate that a seventh trial would look very different than the first six. Some witnesses have died. Others have changed their stories.

“The only piece of direct evidence in the state’s case was a jailhouse informant, Odell Holman, he recanted on tape to In the Dark saying that he was lying when he said Curtis Flowers had confessed to the crime," explained Yesko. "So it’s hard to imagine him testifying for the state.”

Their analysis of DA Doug Evans’ jury selection in more than just the Flowers’ case revealed something of note.

“Has struck black perspective jurors almost four and a half times the rate that he struck white ones,” described Yesko about District Attorney Doug Evans.

And they’ve found an alternate suspect.

"That was never presented in any of the past six trials that you could imagine coming up in a seventh trial and casting a suspicion away from Curtis Flowers,” added Yesko.

Now, Flowers and everyone else waits to see if a seventh trial will formally be initiated.

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