PASCAGOULA, MS (WLOX) - A jury has found Terry Hye guilty of capital murder. It deliberated for less than two hours before reaching that determination.
Hye, of Moss Point, is guilty of the 2008 death of Michael David Porter. The Lauderdale County man was shot to death outside a Moss Point gas station after stopping to ask for directions to his grandson's football game.
In closing arguments Friday morning, District Attorney Tony Lawrence said, "The defense is trying to polish Hye by putting him in a shiny suit and tie and trying to tarnish other witnesses."
Hye is one of four teens arrested in the case. Lawrence said the defense witnesses, including the defendant himself, tried to point the finger at everyone else. Lawrence told the jury Hye was not an innocent bystander, and that Porter, a Marine Corps veteran, could have fought off a single attacker.
"This is a man who spent 14 years fighting for the freedoms and rights for people like Terry Hye, and in two minutes, his life was taken," Lawrence said.
Hye's defense lawyers maintained their client was simply "in the wrong place at the wrong time." Wendy Walker Martin told the jury, "The state has not proven beyond a reasonable doubt that Terry Hye participated in the murder of Michael David Porter."
Martin also took the jury through a list of mistakes the defense said the Moss Point Police Department made in the investigation and questioning of Hye and the other suspects.
Darwin Wells was convicted last year of murder by deliberate design as the triggerman in Porter's murder. Alonzo Kelly pleaded guilty to accessory after the fact of murder. Tevin Benjamin is set to stand trial in May on a capital murder charge.
Patrice Clark is still in the courtroom. She'll have reaction to the verdict on WLOX and WLOX.com.