Man convicted of double murder in Lafayette County wants new trial

Published 1:45 pm Thursday, July 27, 2017

A Lafayette County man on Mississippi’s death row has filed a petition with the Lafayette County Circuit Court for post-conviction relief and is requesting a new trial.

Caleb Corrothers, 37, aka Caleb Carrothers, was convicted in 2011 during a trial in Lafayette County of two counts of capital murder and one count of aggravated assault in the 2009 deaths of Frank and Taylor Clark of Lafayette County.

Lost appeal in 2014

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He was sentenced to death for both capital murder counts and life in prison for the aggravated assault.

Tanya Clark, wife and mother of Frank and Taylor respectively, was also shot twice during the incident but survived.

The Mississippi Supreme Court denied Corrothers’ appeal in 2014.

However, in an application for post-conviction relief filed earlier this year to the Mississippi Supreme Court, Corrothers presented 10 claims as to why he should be granted a post-trial hearing. On Feb. 2, the court denied all but one, where Corrothers claimed two relatives said they saw a juror communicating with Tanya Clark during the trial.

According to the petition filed July 17, the relatives claim a female juror made contact with Clark several times. One relative said she saw the juror look at Clark and say, “We got this.” Another claims the juror at one time winked at Clark during the trial.

The Mississippi Attorney General’s Office attempted to appeal the Supreme Court’s decision in February to allow Corrothers to file the petition for post-conviction relief; however, the Supreme Court denied the AG’s request.

Corrothers’ attorneys claim Corrothers’ right to a fair trial by an impartial jury was denied and his conviction should be reversed and a new trial should be ordered by the Circuit Court.

As of Wednesday, the court had not yet ruled on the petition or set a date for a hearing.