Carla Hughes Trial Update–Life In Prison Without Parole

The jury has returned a verdict in the sentencing phase: life in prison without the possibility of parole.

After witnessing the manner in which the case was tried, I was concerned that the jury would return a death sentence.  I suspect this case will stick in my craw for quite some time.  There was more than enough evidence implicating Keyon Pittman, that reasonable doubt should have existed.  Why did he borrow a woman’s shoes? Where were his alibi witnesses (other than the one he was “talking to”), Why was he calling other women for “comfort” within hours of Avis Banks’ death?  Who else would have known when Avis Banks would arrive home?  Who else’s vehicle would not have attracted any attention in that neighborhood?  Why would Avis Banks pull into the driveway and into the garage if a strange vehicle was parked there (only explanation being it wasn’t a strange vehicle at all).  And finally, why the hell did he have gunshot residue (GSR) on his hands?

Want more reasonable doubt?  Why did the Mississippi Crime Lab not find any blood on the shoes?  Why did the State send the shoes to a private lab for more testing?  Why was the package unsealed when the private lab received it?  Where was the blood spatter evidence?  Was the blood on the shoes low velocity (fell straight down), or medium or high velocity (traveling at a high rate of speed in a slinging motion).  Did the blood spatter indicate a left-handed or right-handed assailant?

Had I been trying that case, I would have written every one of those questions on a poster so the jury could see, in black-and-white, the problems with the case.  This technique is very effective, especially if the prosecutor doesn’t have good answers to the questions.  When you put it in writing where the jury can see it, they take those same unanswered questions into deliberations.  It defintely changes the focus from the general “Did she do it?” to dozens of questions showing the State didn’t prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt.

There was reasonable doubt everywhere.  On top of that, Judge Chapman conducted a flawless trial, committed no error that I can see, and did absolutely nothing to prejudice Ms. Hughes.  I just can’t figure out how she got convicted on this evidence.

Anyone have any thoughts?

Mississippi Criminal Defense Lawyer


6 responses to “Carla Hughes Trial Update–Life In Prison Without Parole

  1. I agree. I do not believe that Carla killed Avis Banks. If I had of beenon the jury, I would have definitely held out. Keyon Pittman has the personna of an abuser. I believe he framed Carla after he realized what he had done. I hope and pray that she gets a new trial.

  2. I don’t agree with Lisa; however, I do agree that Keyon Pittman does have some degree of culpability – to what degree we may never know, since Carla Hughes decided to “protect” him in attempt to escape conviction.

    I know Carla Hughes probably believed that she would not get convicted and that’s the reason why she did not implicate him because, to do so, she would be implicating herself–unfortunately, however, her plan–or that of her attorneys–backfired.

    But there are several things that point to Carla, too:

    (1) Her alleged shopping spree during the time of the murder could not be confirmed

    (2) Her cell phone hitting the tower in the vicinity of the crime scene around the estimated time of the the murder

    (3) Where she had gone to target practice

    (4) Why she returned the gun empty

    (5) Where’s the knife

    I find it a little too coincidental that Carla borrowed a knife and a gun and that’s how Avis was killed–way too coincidental.

    If Keyon Pittman had anything to do with Avis Banks’ murder–before, during or after the fact–he will get his when Karma comes a knocking on his door. Look at O.J. Simpson – Enough Said!

  3. I agree that Keyon had something to do with it also, I just can not believe a woman with so much intelligence, could stoop to such a level for a man. Maybe that is why the bible says put your trust in God for man will decieve you. I believe Carla should tell on Keyon, because thats who pulled the trigger, However, like the last person said, to many things do not add up with her either, I believe they might have done it together as far as her being there, if not lord forgive me, but I do not think I am wrong,

  4. I know deep in my heart Keyon Pittman had something to do with his wife’s murder. I do not believe his testomony. And for him to remarry so quickly is sickening to me there is no justifacation for that. And who would marry a man, who just lost his wife to murder, he may be invovled in. My heart will sigh with relief when Karma final catches up with Kenyon Pittman. His name even sounds vindictive and untrustworthy to me. Rest in peace Ms. Banks

  5. I don’t believe carla committed the murder, keyon is written all over that crime.I just cant understand how in the world is a woman going to kick in a deadbolted door,and I know i n my heart that when carla said that she went to target practice, she didn’t kno that trying to protect keyon would backfire on her. I believe she is totally innocent, because keyon said himself that carla was laying on her chase lounge conducting cheerleading business with a fellow teacher.He also reported having given carla back her house keys, but he’s lying, because how would he know she was lying on the chase lounge if she had to get up to let him in. I think keyon went in while carla was gone, borrowed her shoes, and killed his pregnant fiance.’The only thing that I think carla is guilty of is decieving her cousin for Keyon to get the knife and the gun. I believe she knew what he was planning to do, but she had no idea that he was trying to frame her in the process. I just pray that keyon gets made to hold up 4 the part he played in the crime also!

    • Katrina:

      That’s a damn good summary of why Carla Hughes should not be in prison. The “set up” angle is brilliant. The fact that a grown man borrowed a woman’s shoes is enough for me. Now, I may be a little much on the “Alpha-male” side, but a woman’s shoes? What heterosexual man borrows a woman’s shoes for any legitimate purpose?

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