Defense calls no witnesses in teen's capital murder trial

By Patrice Clark- bio | email

JACKSON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - Attorneys for a 16-year-old Moss Point teen accused of capital murder called no witnesses for his defense Wednesday.

Darwin Wells is charged with shooting a Hattiesburg man last October. Investigators said Wells approached David Michael Porter after he stopped at a gas station to ask for directions to his grandson's football game in October 2008.

Prosecutors called several witnesses, including the victim's widow. Linda Porter witnessed her husband's death, and was the first to testify in Circuit Judge Dale Harkey's courtroom.

She told jury members the couple stopped at the Conoco Gas station on Highway 63 in Moss Point for directions to the game. Mrs. Porter testified that she saw three young men circle around the car that night. Before she knew it, two were wrestling with her husband, and Mrs. Porter said a third person, the one "with a towel over his head," shot and killed her husband of five years.

When lawyers asked Mrs. Porter did she have any doubts about what happened night, she responded, " I see that in my mind every night when I go to bed."

Wells' defense lawyer Brice Kerr argued some of Mrs. Porter's recollections did not match information given to Moss Point police.

Jackson County District Attorney Tony Lawrence called Alonzo Kelly to testify.  Kelly is charged as an accessory in Porter's murder. The teenager was visibly shaken and nervous during court.  Before invoking his Fifth Amendment right against self incrimination, Kelly admitted that he, Wells, and two others discussed robbing someone that night.

"Go to hit a lick," Kelly said.

Lawrence got Kelly to explain that "Hit a lick" is a street term, which can mean going to get money or robbing someone. Sheriff's Deputy James Alvin Jr., who works at the Adult Detention center jail, testified Wells' confessed to the murder.

"He [Wells] stated did it," Alvin said. "I said, 'You did what, you say?' He said, 'I did it. I shot the guy.' I told him to stop talking. Then he set on the bench crying and proceeded to tell me that he did it, again."

Jurors also heard a tape of a police interview with Wells. On the tape, the teenager said he was thirsty and approached Mr. Porter for money to buy a drink. Wells said Porter shut the door on his finger. The teen admitted on the tape to having a gun in his pocket, and he told police it went off accidentally, shooting Mr. Porter.

If Wells is convicted of capital murder he could spend the rest of his life in prison.

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