He literally said: “I know what a thug black guy looks like.” as his defense.
#SOUTHBEND — #MarkestFlowers' family sat quietly in the back of #StJoseph Superior Court 8 Thursday, as tears ran down the grandmother's face.
The family feels they have some closure now, the woman said.
After a three-day trial, 70-year-old Michael Young was found #guilty of murder for the shooting death of 27-year-old Flowers.
The jury deliberated for almost four hours and could also have considered a lesser charge of reckless homicide. Young could face 45 to 65 years in prison when he's sentenced July 27.
Young was accused of shooting Flowers in the head the night of May 31, 2016, on the corner of Colfax Avenue and Main Street in downtown South Bend. It was never disputed that Young shot Flowers, but Young said it was in self defense. "It was not an accident," Young testified. "I was defending myself." Young was at LaSalle Kitchen & Tavern on Colfax, having a drink with Carla Beachy the night of the shooting. Beachy testified she went outside to her vehicle to smoke when a man stopped her from getting out of her vehicle and persistently begged her for money. She says she gave him a $50 dollar bill, the only cash she had.
When Young came out to check on Beachy, she told him the panhandling story, and he reportedly went looking for a man who matched Beachy's description of a young black man wearing a red shirt.
When Young found Flowers walking on Main Street, he starting questioning him about the money. Young said Flowers never denied taking the money, but threatened him.
Multiple witnesses testified they saw Young following Flowers around the intersection of Main and Colfax. As Flowers was walking away, witnesses said they saw Young grab Flowers by his back pack, spin him around and shoot him.
Young said he didn't grab Flowers, but that he lost his balance stepping off the curb and put his hand out to catch himself. That's when Flowers spun around and the gun went off, Young claimed.