- Associated Press - Thursday, May 26, 2016

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) - Mississippi’s Supreme Court rejected a death row inmate’s attempt to access prosecutors’ notes on jury selection on Thursday.

Lawyers for Curtis Giovanni Flowers wanted the court to overrule a Montgomery County judge and give them the jury selection notes in hopes that the defense could show racial bias by prosecutors in excluding potential jurors.

All justices joined the one-paragraph decision released by Justice Josiah Coleman.

Flowers has been convicted of capital murder four times in the fatal shootings of Tardy Furniture store owner Bertha Tardy and three employees in 1996. The first three convictions were overturned, and two other trials ended in hung juries. The Mississippi Supreme Court upheld his death sentence in 2014 after the fourth conviction in 2010.

Flowers’ overall appeal is still pending in state court.

The lawyers working on Flowers’ appeal also wanted the court to order the judge to release communications between lawyer Kevin Horan and Montgomery County District Attorney Doug Evans over Horan’s defense of Patricia Hallmon Sullivan-Odom. She was a key witness in the case, saying she saw Flowers the morning of the murders wearing the shoes for which investigators found footprints in the Winona store. Horan is a former prosecutor and now a Democratic state representative from Grenada.

Defense lawyers speculate that Evans held back knowledge that Sullivan-Odom had been indicted in federal court for preparing false tax returns when asked by a defense lawyer about the criminal history of prosecution witnesses. Evans and Horan have denied any concealment.

Though Coleman didn’t mention it, he also denied that motion.

Sullivan-Odom is the sister of Odell Hallmon, who pleaded guilty earlier this month to three counts of first-degree murder in the April 27 deaths of the mother and grandmother of his son and a third man.

Odell Hallmon was also a witness in the Flowers prosecutions. He initially testified for the defense but later flipped, claiming his earlier testimony was a lie. He then testified in the last four trials that Flowers had confessed to the killings while they were both imprisoned at the Mississippi State Penitentiary at Parchman.

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