Curtis Flowers leaves Parchman prison, returns to county jail

Last Updated by Yesko, Parker on
UPDATED: September 24 at 6:20 p.m.

Curtis Flowers on Monday left Parchman, the infamous prison that houses Mississippi's death row where he's spent most of the past 22 years. After spending a day at the Grenada County Jail, he was transferred to a jail in Louisville, Mississippi, to await a new trial or release.

Flowers, 49, has been behind bars continuously since 1997, when he was arrested for the murders of four people at Tardy Furniture in Winona. He's faced six trials for those murders — two that ended in hung juries and four that resulted in convictions that Flowers successfully appealed. His most recent stint at Parchman began after he was convicted at his sixth trial, in 2010.

Flowers' transfer had been expected since the U.S. Supreme Court reversed that conviction in June. In a 7-2 ruling, the justices found that the prosecutor in the case, District Attorney Doug Evans, had violated Flowers' constitutional rights by intentionally striking African Americans during jury selection. The ruling sent the case back to Winona for a possible seventh trial.

Flowers is now being held in pretrial detention and will likely remain there until his case is resolved, either at trial, through a plea deal or because the charges against him are dropped.

According to booking officer Phyllis Jenkins, Flowers arrived at the Winston-Choctaw County Correctional Facility around 5 p.m. Tuesday. Flowers will be slightly closer there than he was at Parchman to his father and siblings, who live an hour northwest. He'll be housed in a single cell and allowed contact visits with his family, Jenkins said.

It's unclear what led to the move out of the Grenada County Jail after less than 24 hours. Grenada Sheriff Alton Strider said the day Flowers spent there was uneventful.

Last week, Flowers' lawyer, Rob McDuff, filed a motion asking a judge to dismiss the murder indictments pending against Flowers. McDuff also requested that bail be set so that Flowers can live at home while his case unfolds. A hearing on those motions is expected this fall. Evans' office has yet to respond to them.

The second season of the In the Dark podcast is about the case of Curtis Flowers, who was tried six times for the same crime. Learn more.

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