Testimony ends in Hye murder trial - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Testimony ends in Hye murder trial

By Patrice Clark – bio | email

PASCAGOULA, MS (WLOX) - On the witness stand Thursday afternoon, Terry Hye admitted he lied to police when they questioned him about the murder of Michael David Porter. But the teen also insisted he did not kill Porter. Instead, he put the blame on his friend who a jury found guilty of being the trigger man.

"At first I denied even being there because I was scared. I lied about it at first," Hye said. 

Hye recounted the days after he was arrested and charged with capital murder in the shooting death of a grandfather, who stopped to get directions at a Moss Point gas station. 

"I felt bad about Mr. Porter," Hye said on the witness stand. 

Michael Porter was shot in the parking lot of the Conoco station on Grierson in October 2008.  Porter and his wife were heading to their grandson's football game when they became lost.  

Testifying in his own defense, Hye apologized to Porter's widow. 

"Mrs. Porter, I'm very sorry for your loss, but I didn't have nothing to do with your husband's murder," Hye said as he turned to Porter in the courtroom.

Hye doesn't deny he was in the area on the night of the murder, but said it was his friend Darwin Wells who launched the plan to "hit a lick" that led to the shooting.  Prosecutors said 'hit a lick" means to rob someone.  Darwin Wells was convicted in the case last year. 

"DJ said, 'I am about to hit a lick.' And when he came out, meaning the victim, DJ ran up to the car, slipped and got up and said, 'Give it up.' The victim tried to pull off, but DJ shot him," Hye said. "I heard a shot and me and Alonzo was running. Tevin was also running behind us." 

When Hye's attorney asked why he was at the Conoco station the night Michael Porter was shot, Hye testified he was just an innocent bystander. 

"I couldn't go in the Conoco because the owner caught me trying to get people go into the store and buy me cigarettes and he banned me," Hye said. 

District Attorney Tony Lawrence told the jury that Hye is trying to use Wells as a scapegoat.  He said Darwin Wells, Terry Hye, Alonzo Kelly, and Tevin Benjamin all participated in the shooting. 

"The only people out there involved in this 'hit a lick' were the four of y'all," Lawrence said. 

Lawrence argued that Hye's testimony is inconsistent with his statements to police. Lawrence also told the jury Hye wrote a letter last year while in jail to Benjamin in an attempt to cover up his involvement.

Closing arguments are set to begin Friday morning. If Terry Hye is convicted of capital murder, he could spend the rest of his life in prison. 

Copyright 2010 WLOX. All rights reserved.

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