JACKSON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - Sixteen-year-old Darwin Wells has been found guilty of deliberate design murder, and sentenced to life in prison. That decision came from jurors Thursday afternoon, after about six hours of deliberations. At one point, the jury was deadlocked 11-1.
Darwin Wells was found guilty of shooting a Hattiesburg man to death 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.
Judge Dale Harkey told Wells as he was being sentenced, "You sir, deserve no sympathy."
Earlier in the day, both sides presented their closing arguments in the case.
"Linda and Mike were coming from out of town to see their grandson play football," Assistant District Attorney Brice Wiggins told jurors Thursday morning. "They were enjoying their life. Because they took a turn and because they were doing something anyone in this courtroom would do, stopped and asked for directions, Mike was killed by that man, Darwin Wells."
Wells is charged with capital murder because investigators say the killing happened during a robbery attempt. But Defense Attorney Brice Kerr said prosecutors would have to be clairvoyant to know it was a robbery.
"The issue is not whether something terrible happened," Kerr said. "In my opinion, it's not if a crime was committed, the issue is whether it was capital murder."
"I'm not going to say that Darwin committed no crime. I'm not going to argue that to you. I don't believe that," Kerr continued. "The issue is, did he commit capital murder? With every fiber of my being, I believe he did not."