Teen murder trial begins with emotional testimony from widow

MOSS POINT, MS (WLOX) - By Patrice Clark – bio | email

PASCAGOULA, MS (WLOX) – Wednesday was an emotional day full of testimony in the capital murder trial of Moss Point teenager Tevin Benjamin. The 15-year-old is the third teen to stand trial for the shooting death of Michael David Porter.

Benjamin didn't show much emotion as he walked into court for his capital murder trial Wednesday.

When widow Linda Porter took the witness stand, she broke down and cried. It was the third time she's had to testify and talk publicly about the horrible night her husband was murdered.

"I started talking to God, 'Please don't let this have happened,'" Porter said.

Porter told the jury she and her husband got lost while heading to their grandson's football game in October 2008. They stopped for directions at a Moss Point gas station. That's when she said she saw three, young, black men standing near the store. The men began walking toward the car.

"I am thinking, this doesn't feel safe and something is not right.  My first impulse was to lock the door," Porter testified.

Mrs. Porter said when her husband came out of the store; two of the men attacked him. She said the other man, who had the white towel over his head, shot her husband.

"I was crying out, 'Mike, Mike, talk to me. Say something to me, Mike.'"

Darwin Wells and Terry Hye have both been convicted for their role in Michael David Porter's shooting death. The prosecution said Benjamin also participated in the crime and tried to lie about his involvement.

"Tevin Benjamin's story was he was at the fair that night, the Jackson County fair," lawyer Bobby Knochel said.

During cross examination, defense lawyers argued that no one can prove that Tevin Benjamin was a part of the tragedy. They even tried to paint Mrs. Porter as confused and too emotional to remember how many guys were there that night.  Porter fired back at the defense.

"I knew something was not right. My antenna was up and I was paying attention."

Teenager Alonzo Kelly pleaded guilty to accessory after the fact to murder last year.  Faith Gibson and Melody Jones, both adults, are also charged with accessory after the fact to murder.  The trial resumes Thursday morning at 8:30.

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