Mississippi man freed months after court rules racial bias

National Court News

A Mississippi man whose murder conviction was overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court for racial bias was released from custody Monday for the first time in 22 years.

Curtis Flowers walked out of the regional jail in the central town of Louisville hours after a judge set his bond at $250,000. A person who wanted to remain anonymous posted $25,000, the 10% needed to secure Flowers’ release, said his attorney Rob McDuff.

At the bond hearing earlier Monday in the city of Winona, Circuit Judge Joseph Loper ordered Flowers to wear an electronic monitor while waiting for the district attorney’s office to decide whether to try him a seventh time or drop the charges. Flowers also must check in once a week with a court clerk, McDuff said. He said attorneys would file papers asking the judge to dismiss the charges.

Flowers was accompanied from the jail Monday by his attorneys and two sisters, Priscilla Ward and Charita Baskin. The siblings said they were going home to fry some fish for dinner and hang out together.

“It’s been rough,” Flowers said. “Taking it one day at a time, keeping God first ? that’s how I got through it.”

When asked another question, Flowers sighed, smiled and tossed his hands in the air.  “I’m so excited right now, I can’t even think straight,” he said with a laugh.

Flowers was convicted four times in connection with a quadruple slaying in Winona in 1996: twice for individual slayings and twice for all four killings. Two other trials involving all four deaths ended in mistrials.

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