Embattled DA in Curtis Flowers case headed to runoff in circuit judge race
Longtime prosecutor Doug Evans, known for trying Curtis Flowers six times for murder with convictions that were later overturned, is headed for a Nov. 29 runoff for a circuit court judge seat.
Evans earned the second-most votes Tuesday in five-person election and will face top vote-getter Winona Municipal Court Judge Alan “Devo” Lancaster because neither candidate garnered 50% of the vote.
The 5th Circuit Court district includes Attala, Carroll, Choctaw, Montgomery, Grenada, Webster and Winston counties. The winner will succeed Judge George Mitchell, who died in April.
Evans, who has been the district attorney of the district for over 30 years, first tried Flowers in 1997 for the killings of four people at the Tardy Furniture store in Winona.
Evans secured four death penalty convictions for Flowers, but those were overturned by state and federal courts. In two trials, a jury didn’t reach a unanimous verdict.
The U.S Supreme Court overturned Flowers’ conviction in 2019, ruling Evans barred Black jurors in the case.
In 2021, Flowers sued Evans in federal court for misconduct, which Evans has denied. U.S. District Court Judge Neal Biggers Jr. ordered the case stayed until May 1, 2023.
Other candidates in the 5th District Circuit Court race were Ackerman attorney Kasey Burney Young, Kosciusko attorney Doug Crosby and Louisville attorney Zachary Madison.
Lancaster is a partner at the Lancaster Taylor Law Firm in Winona. He has been a municipal judge in Winona since 2010 and attorney for Montgomery County Economic Development since 1986.