Hye defense says lead detective "dropped the ball" - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Hye defense says lead detective "dropped the ball"

By Patrice Clark – bio | email

PASCAGOULA, MS (WLOX) – Attorneys for capital murder suspect Terry Hye feel Moss Point's lead detective in the Michael Porter shooting "dropped the ball' in the investigation.  Hye is charged with the robbing and killing the Hattiesburg man at a Moss Point gas station in October 2008. The defense grilled Joyce Lynn Craig about the lack of evidence collected in the case. 

Teenager Terry Hye's defense attorneys went on the offense when Moss Point Officer Joyce Lynn Craig took the stand.

"I guess we can say the buck stops with you," attorney Wendy Walker Martin said. 

Craig led Moss Point's investigation of Michael Porter's murder.  She was also at the gas station on Grierson Street after the shooting.  Hye and three other teens, Darwin Wells, Alonzo Kelly and Telvin Benjamin, were arrested for the shooting. Martin asked the Craig, "What exactly were your duties as lead investigator?" 

Craig testified, "I went to the crime scene, I photographed the crime scene, I collected evidence, and I interviewed Mrs. Porter." 

Hye's attorney tried to paint Craig as a lackadaisical investigator, with little knowledge of the case. Martin also asked the witness, "What are the [gas station] owners' names?"

"I don't know their names, they are Vietnamese. I talked to them the following day, which they said they didn't see anything," Craig said.

In her testimony, Craig also admitted she didn't think to write down the owner's account of the night. 

"That is correct, I didn't make a report," Craig said. 

Defense Attorney Martin continued quizzing Craig with a long list of what the defense called "mistakes" in the case. Martin said mistakes like failing to get a possible security camera video from the store parking lot, where the Porters had stopped on the night of the murder. 

"They [store owners] said their camera was not working," Officer Craig said. 

Officer Craig was the only defense witness to actually testify, and the only witness without a criminal record.

Darwin Wells, who last year was convicted of shooting Porter, and Telvin Benjamin, whose trial is in May, both took the stand and invoked their Fifth Amendment right against self incrimination. 

Defense lawyers said they plan to call Terry Hye to the stand Thursday to testify in his own defense. If Hye is found guilty of capital murder, he could spend the rest of his life in prison.

Copyright 2010 WLOX. All rights reserved.

Powered by Frankly