Attorneys for Terry Hye plan to appeal guilty verdict - - The News for South Mississippi

Attorneys for Terry Hye plan to appeal guilty verdict

By Patrice Clarkbio | email

JACKSON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - Attorneys for Terry Hye say they will appeal his capital murder conviction. A jury took just 90 minutes to reach that guilty verdict Friday. The decision came after three days of testimony about the night Michael David Porter was shot to death outside a Moss Point gas station. The District Attorney says today's guilty verdict, brings much deserved justice and relief for Porter's family. 

"Fourteen years severing our country, four years on the football field, four years as a tug boat operator, and he lost he life in two minutes." 

Jackson County district attorney Tony Lawrence summed up the senseless death of a good man.  Michael David Porter stopped in Moss Point on an October evening in 2008.  Lawrence said Porter was hoping to get directions to his grandson's football game. 

"They attacked him, trying to hit a lick. During the attack, he was shot and killed,"Lawrence said.

Terry Hye is one of four teens charged with killing Porter. Hye sat unemotional throughout the trial; even as his attorney tried to convince the jury he was not a killer. 

"He bought Marijuana that day; he went to buy cigarettes that day. He admitted he was smoking marijuana. He didn't go to the police station and that's a mistake. But none of those mistakes make him guilty of capital murder," Defense attorney Arthur Carlisle said. 

The jury, brought in from Lauderdale County, disagreed. 

"I am really pleased with this verdict and for the Lauderdale County citizens for agreeing to serve and make sure justice was served in Jackson County," Lawrence said. 

The teenager stood silently as Judge Dale Harkey repeated the jury's verdict that he was found guilty of killing Michael David Porter. 

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

Capital murder usually carries a death penalty sentence.  Attorneys say because Terry Hye was 16-years-old at the time of the crime, he will have to spend the rest of his life in prison. 

 After the verdict, Hye was handcuffed and led out of the courtroom.  Passing family and friends, Hye whispered, "come and see me." 

A row away, Michael Porter's family sat quietly and hugged each other. They know this verdict is another step toward closer. 

Darwin Wells, the triggerman, was convicted last year of murder by deliberate design. 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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