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Curtis Flowers sues District Attorney Doug Evans, three others for malicious prosecution

Friday, September 3, 2021, 6:30 pm News Flash Archive

Today, Curtis Flowers filed suit against the District Attorney Doug Evans and three investigators for, as his lawsuit alleges, orchestrating a malicious prosecution against him for the Tardy Furniture Store murders in 1996. The lawsuit, which gives only one side of the argument, may be seen here:
Flowers v. Evans et al. Complaint

The lawsuit names District Attorney Doug Evans, who prosecuted Flowers in all six trials, and who participated in the investigation. Also named are John Johnson, Wayne Miller, and Jack Matthews, three lead investigators for the case.

Flowers is represented by Jackson attorney Robert McDuff, a well-known civil rights litigator, along with 4 attorneys from the Washington DC firm of Hogan Lovells US.

The lawsuit describes in detail claims of a) fabrication of witness testimony by means of pressure, b) intimidation of witnesses, c) secret offers of leniency and protection of witnesses in exchange for testimony the defendants allegedly knew was false, d) concealing other suspects from the court and the defense, e) never testing a gun of the same caliber as the murder weapon that was found nearby the scene of the crime, and f) failing to properly investigate obvious suspects with criminal histories in the area who had committed armed robberies and burglaries.

The lawsuit asserts that by these actions, the defendants "violated the rights of Curtis Flowers under the Fourth, Sixth, and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution. The foregoing actions of the Defendants also violate Article 3, Sections 14, 23 and 26 of the Mississippi Constitution and constitute the state law torts of malicious prosecution, abuse of process, and false imprisonment. Defendants acted in reckless disregard of the safety and well-being of Curtis Flowers."

Flowers was charged with the murder of four persons (Robert Golden, Carmen Rigby, BoBo Stewart, and Bertha Tardy) at the Tardy Furniture Store in Winona in 1996, and was tried six times. He was convicted and sentenced to death four times, but each time his conviction was overturned because of prosecutorial misconduct. At two other trials, the jury hung and could not return a verdict.

After the US Supreme Court threw out Flowers' last conviction in June 2019, the state declined to try the case a seventh time, and the court dismissed the charges against Flowers. Many of the state's witnesses have recanted, and other crucial parts of the state's case have collapsed.

Flowers was awarded the maximum damages of $500,000 by the State of Mississippi for his 23 years of wrongful incarceration.

Relatives of the four victims have continued to believe and advocate their view that Mr. Flowers committed the crimes.

The State's case against Mr. Flowers was gutted by the investigative podcast "In the Dark," which discovered that other suspects were identified but kept secret from the defense, and that key witnesses had recanted their testimony against Mr. Flowers. The results of their journalism were recited by Judge Joseph Loper when he released Flowers on bail in late 2019.

For background and previous reporting by The Taxpayers Channel, see these articles:

November 13, 2014: Curtis Flowers death penalty upheld by MS Sup Ct

June 21, 2019: URGENT: US Supreme Court overturns Curtis Flowers Murder Conviction by 7-2 vote


John Pittman Hey
The Taxpayers Channel

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