October 19, 2020

MDOC relocates accused cop killer from state penitentiary

A man accused of killing two Brookhaven police officers in 2018 will be closer to Lincoln County for his next hearing in December.

The Mississippi Department of Corrections moved Marquis Flowers from the Mississippi State Penitentiary in Parchman Thursday to the Central Mississippi Correctional Facility in Pearl, about 140 miles closer. Flowers’ public defender M.A. Bass requested the transfer of his client to the closer facility during Flowers’ arraignment Tuesday in Lincoln County Circuit Court before Judge Michael Taylor.

Flowers, 26, was indicted Oct. 28 on two counts of capital murder in the deaths of Cpl. Zach Moak, 31, and patrol officer James White, 35, and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. Flowers, through his attorney, pleaded not guilty Tuesday to all three counts.

District Attorney Dee Bates intends to seek the death penalty In Flowers’ case.

MDOC Communications Director Grace Fisher said Flowers was moved because of his court proceedings in Brookhaven. Taylor said Tuesday Flowers will likely be required to appear at hearings at least monthly to make sure all the motions are addressed in a timely manner.

The indictment against Flowers, which was made public Tuesday, includes an enhancement to all counts because Flowers had been convicted at least twice of prior felonies.

Flowers was out on parole at the time of the shootings after the state parole board released him.

An MDOC employee who was disciplined after Flowers went unmonitored by a parole officer was found to be “least responsible” and his reprimand was reversed by the state Employee Appeals Board.  MDOC alleged that the employee should have issued a warrant for Flowers’ arrest when he could not be located — prior to the fatal shootings in September. But the appeals board found the employee was not to blame, rather it was a “systemic failure” that allowed Flowers to remain free.

Flowers’ tentative release date on the MDOC website is March 20, 2020. It is likely that upon his release as a state inmate, he will be housed in either Adams or Lincoln county on the capital murder charges. A bond for Flowers on the recent charges has not been announced.