Man walks free after found not guilty of Gulfport double homicide
HARRISON COUNTY, Miss. (WLOX) - Torre Mandrell Clark is now a free man.
Clark was released from prison around 3:23 p.m. Monday after a Harrison County jury found him not guilty of two first-degree murder charges and not guilty of the lesser charges of second-degree murder.
Both men were found dead from apparent gunshot wounds on May 13 at the Reserve Apartments on Three Rivers Road.
Philip Whitman, Clark’s attorney, said the trial started last Tuesday, September 24.
District Attorney Joel Smith said two co-defendants (Theodore Manning and Charles Manning) testified Clark and one of the co-defendants were dropped off at the apartment to “handle some business” which resulted in him shooting the two victims.
Theodore was originally charged with first-degree murder, but he struck a plea deal with prosecutors, pleading guilty to accessory after the fact of first-degree murder. Charles pleaded guilty to obstruction of justice.
“Torre [Clark] testified that Charles killed Fredrick Robinson in the apartment and that Theodore killed Terry Singleton in the parking lot,“ Whitman said.
Smith says Gulfport detectives testified an investigation revealed the individuals were dropped off at the apartments to conduct a drug deal. Smith confirmed other witnesses also testified regarding Clark’s presence at the apartments prior to the murder and his car fleeing from the scene.
However, none of the witnesses were actual eyewitnesses to the shooting itself.
Whitman confirmed Clark’s defense was established around the notion that “although he was present, he did not kill either of the victims. He did not take part in the killing of either of the victims”.
The jury also heard expert testimony including a ballistics expert and a forensic pathologist, who testified regarding the cause of death of the victims and location of the gunshot wounds.
Torre testified in his own defense. He maintained though he was there when the murders happened, he did not kill either man.
The jury deliberated for about two and a half hours before returning the not guilty verdict.
“The state’s position was he [Clark] was there for both murders, and therefore he was responsible for the murders. We argued that the mere fact he was there for both murders doesn’t mean he committed the crime, and the jury agreed and found Mr. Clark not guilty,” Whitman explained.
Clark was originally arrested by U.S. Marshal’s with the Gulf Coast Regional Fugitive Task Force in Meridian six days after the murder.
Copyright 2019 WLOX. All rights reserved.