Flowers trial could prove game-changing in other violent crime trials

COLUMBUS, Miss. (WCBI) – A trial held this week in Columbus could prove to be a game-changer in how some violent crimes are prosecuted.

After three days of testimony, a Lowndes County jury took less than two hours to find Tommy Lee Flowers, Jr. guilty of felony murder, directing a juvenile to commit a felony, shooting into a dwelling, and three counts of aggravated assault.

The charges came from a shooting in April of 2022, in which Harvey Montrell Johnson was killed.

Flowers got Johnson, who was only 15 at the time, to take part in a shooting at a home in Columbus.

Johnson was fatally wounded when the occupants of the house fired back.

It was initially believed that Tommy Lee Flowers was a witness to the shooting, but a conscientious investigator had him swabbed for gunshot residue.

It was determined that he was the second shooter, but more importantly, the investigation revealed that he put Johnson up to the shooting.

He was charged with felony murder because he was committing a felony and Johnson’s death was a result of that.

District Attorney Scott Colom praised the jury because they recognized that even though Flowers didn’t pull the trigger, he led Johnson to the bullet that killed him.

“When you’re talking about getting someone that’s dangerous enough to bring a juvenile to do his dirty work and cause that juvenile to be killed, that’s somebody we need to get off the street. And we need to deter that type of crime, and I want to thank Chris Ware for that,” said Colom.

Judge Jim Kitchens sentenced Flowers to a total of life plus 80 years for the crimes.

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Categories: Crime, Local News