The State of Mississippi will pay Curtis Giovanni Flowers $500,000 as compensation for the nearly 23 years he spent in prison, charged with the capital murders of four people at Tardy Furniture store in Winona in 1996.
Today, Circuit Court Judge George Mitchell signed an agreed judgement based on a 2009 law passed by the Mississippi Legislature providing “compensation to persons who were wrongfully convicted of, and were imprisoned for, felony crimes.”
Flowers’ 2010 conviction for the 1996 murders of Bertha Tardy, 59; Carmen Rigby, 45; Robert Golden, 42, and Derrick “Bobo” Stewart, 16, in a Winona furniture store was overturned in June 2019 by the U.S. Supreme Court. The 2010 trial was Flowers’ six trial for the murders, with the first three convictions overturned by the Mississippi Supreme Court and trials four and five ending in mistrials when the jury could not come to a unanimous verdict on guilt or innocence.
After District Attorney Doug Evans, who prosecuted all six trials, recused himself from the case, the Mississippi Attorney General’s Office took over the prosecution of the case. In August 2020, Attorney General Lynn Fitch’s motion to dismiss the charges against Flowers with prejudice was granted by Circuit Court Judge Joseph Loper, Jr.
According to the court documents, the court awarded the claimant $50,000 per year for each year of incarceration, excluding any pre-indictment detention, for a total not to exceed $500,000. The compensation will be paid in installments of $50,000 “until the award is fully paid.”