/Mississippi man tried 6 times in killings granted bond after 22 years
Mississippi man tried 6 times in killings granted bond after 22 years

Mississippi man tried 6 times in killings granted bond after 22 years

A Mississippi man who was tried six times on multiple murder charges was granted bond Monday after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned his murder conviction for racial bias.

Curtis Flowers, 49, walked out of the regional jail Monday hours after a judge set his bond at $250,000 — the 10 percent needed to secure his release.

Flowers’ attorney, Rob McDuff, said a person who wished to remain anonymous had posted the necessary 10 percent to secure his client’s release.

Flowers, who is black, has been tried six times for the deadly July 1996 shootings of four people in a furniture store in Winona, Mississippi. The victims were owner Bertha Tardy, 59, and three employees: 45-year-old Carmen Rigby, 42-year-old Robert Golden and 16-year-old Derrick “Bobo” Stewart.

FILE: A judge has set a new site for next week's bail hearing for Curtis Flowers, who has been tried six times for murder in the 1996 shooting deaths of four people in a furniture store. 

FILE: A judge has set a new site for next week’s bail hearing for Curtis Flowers, who has been tried six times for murder in the 1996 shooting deaths of four people in a furniture store. 
(Mississippi Department of Corrections File via AP)

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Flowers was convicted four times; two other trials ended in a mistrial. The convictions were overturned, but the original murder indictment remained active against him.

Assistant District Attorney William Hopper had asked the judge to deny bond, citing several examples of evidence he said pointed to Flowers’ guilt.

Flowers was sentenced to death during his sixth trial in 2010. The U.S. Supreme Court overturned that conviction in June, citing racial bias in jury selection.

Defendant Curtis Flowers, center, standing with his attorneys, Henderson Hill, left, and Rob McDuff, at a bail hearing in Winona, Miss.

Defendant Curtis Flowers, center, standing with his attorneys, Henderson Hill, left, and Rob McDuff, at a bail hearing in Winona, Miss.
(AP)

After that decision, Flowers was moved off death row at the Mississippi State Penitentiary at Parchman and was taken to a regional jail in the central Mississippi town of Louisville.

In mid-November, four black voters and a branch of the NAACP filed a federal lawsuit asking a judge to permanently order District Attorney Doug Evans and his assistants to stop using peremptory challenges to remove African American residents as potential jurors because of their race.

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His father, Archie Lee Flowers, said he always believed in his son’s innocence and frequently visited his son in prison, where they sang and prayed together.

Supporters, who were among the more than 150 people packing the courtroom Monday, hugged Flowers after the judge announced his decision.

A daughter of Tardy, one of the victims, was in court Monday. She sat across the aisle and one row back from Flowers’ 26-year-old daughter, Crystal Ghoston, who sat in the front row.

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Ghoston, of Grenada, Mississippi, said she and her father will take their first-ever photo together and that he wanted to take his granddaughter and her to Disney World.

Flowers was ordered to wear an electronic monitor while prosecutors decide whether to try him for a seventh time.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.