Terry Hye found guilty of Capital Murder - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Terry Hye found guilty of Capital Murder

By Patrice Clark – bio | email

PASCAGOULA, MS (WLOX) - "Justice served." Those are the first words District Attorney Tony Lawrence spoke after jurors returned with a guilty verdict in Terry Hye, Junior's capital murder trial. It took the jury only about 90 minutes to reach a decision.  

Hye is the second teenager to stand trial for the shooting death of Michael David Porter.  

"Mr. Hye, you have been found guilty of the offense of capital murder.  It is my responsibility to sentence you," Judge Dale Harkey said.

The 18-year-old stood silently as Judge Harkey repeated the jury's verdict. Hye was then handcuffed and led away.

Passing family and friends, he whispered "come and see me." Some of his family left the courtroom in anger, others in tears. Terry Hye's defense team was also visibly upset. 

"I feel my client is innocent, one hundred percent," Arthur Carlisle said. "I don't know what went wrong, but something did."

Carlisle said it was the prosecution's theory that was wrong in this case.   Hye's attorneys said the state failed to prove Hye actually took part in the robbery, assault and shooting of Michael David Porter. 

The husband, father, and grandfather died outside a Moss Point gas station in October 2008.  He was stopping to ask for directions to his grandson's football game. 

The defense tried to distance Hye from the three others charged in this case, and blame Moss Point Police for not collecting sufficient evidence and inaccurate reports of what happened the night Porter was killed. 

"I have to respect with the jury did, but I don't why they made the decision," Carlisle said. 

The victim's widow spent a painful week reliving her husband's death, testifying about the attack and the last words she heard from the man she loved.  After the verdict was read, Linda Porter could only hug and lean on her family. 

"I am really pleased with this verdict.  I thank Lauderdale County citizens for agreeing to serve and making sure justice was served in Jackson County," District Attorney Tony Lawrence said. 

Lawrence admitted it was a fight to bring justice to the Porter family. He said Michael Porter was a 14 year Untied States Marine who served our country, and in just a few minutes, he lost his life to a senseless crime involving Hye and three friends.

"I think for someone to come into our community and have this kind of crime committed upon him, it is a horrible incident." 

Capital murder would normally carry the potential for the death penalty.  But since Hye was 16 at the time of the crime, he will serve life in prison. 

Darwin Wells, the triggerman, was convicted last year of deliberate design murder. Alonzo Kelly pleaded guilty to accessory after the fact of murder.  The fourth teen, Tevin Benjamin, is also charged with capital murder.  He is scheduled to go to trial in May.

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