“I was a junior in high school,” said Darian Ledlow. “My mom did not get to see me graduate. She did not get to see me do things with my life, like go to college. She didn’t get to hear what my major was going to be for college.”
A jury took about an hour to find Micah Allan Bostic guilty Tuesday for his role in the February 2016 shooting death of Mapco Express store clerk Kris Ann Ledlow.
Bostic, 26, showed no emotion after the jury found him guilty of capital murder, and he declined the opportunity to make a statement before sentencing.
Judge Paul Funderburk handed down a life sentence in custody of the Mississippi Department of Corrections without the possibility of parole. Bostic went into the sheriff’s custody to await transport.
Co-defendant Brooklyn Traylor, 18, pleaded guilty in June.
Before sentencing, Funderburk allowed Darian Ledlow to speak. She said she had just arrived at school when she got the phone call telling her what had happened to her mother at the store on Highway 72 East in Corinth.
Darian Ledlow planned her mother’s funeral and did her makeup.
“I saw her four hours after she died,” she said. “All of this is because of a senseless crime. I was 16 when this happened … Speaking at your mom’s funeral when you’re 16 years old is not something you want to have to do …
She’s never going to see me get married. She’s never going to see my kids. She’s never going to see anything that my life has to offer now because of this.”
As Bostic then stood before the judge for sentencing, Funderburk told him there are things Darian Ledlow, as well, will never see.
“She will never see her mother again,” said the judge. “Her children will never know their grandmother. Her mother will not be there for her at times in her life in the future when she will want her there, her grandchildren will want her there, as she stated, because of a senseless act. You and your — whatever you called him — your ‘young partner.’ You were older. In my opinion, you could have headed this off, had you wished. This wasn’t your first armed robbery. It was Traylor’s, but not yours. All the two of you had to do was, if she set off the alarm, run. You were well-camouflaged, concealed. It’s doubtful she ever would have been able to identify either one of you. All you had to do was leave … You didn’t pull the trigger, but you were there. By your own words, you knew that your young partner was, as you called him, ‘deranged,’ and that he had a handgun. In a way, you are even more responsible for her senseless murder than Traylor was, in my opinion.”
Ledlow, 43, was shot to death by Traylor during an armed robbery attempt as she reached for a panic alarm. She was a 1991 Corinth High School graduate.
Bostic declined a plea deal in the case and instead went to trial.
The case went to the jury about 11:30 a.m. Tuesday after both sides presented their closing arguments.
Bostic’s attorney, Greg Meyer, again said none of the expert testimony placed the defendant at the scene.
"There is no credible evidence that puts Micah Bostic there," he said.
Bostic’s face is not clearly seen on the store surveillance video.
Meyer said the state made "a deal with the devil" in the plea agreement with Brooklyn Traylor, who agreed to testify against the co-defendant, although Traylor disavowed his own written statement on the witness stand and said he doesn’t know who was with him because he was under the influence.
"They called their own witness a liar," said Meyer.
Throughout the trial, he sought to discredit physical evidence, including the chain of custody and handling of the blue, hooded shirt found in a dumpster near the gas station that police said was worn by Bostic. He also questioned DNA evidence linking the shirt to Bostic.
"There is no evidence before you today that there was any tampering of evidence, any spoiling of evidence," District Attorney John Weddle told the jury. He said the defense attempted to poke holes in the physical evidence “because it’s all they can do.”
It was the use of the name “Drop” — Bostic’s street name — by Traylor, as heard on the surveillance video, that led to Bostic’s arrest.
“I like to give cases a name so that I can remember them in years to come,” Assistant District Attorney David Daniels told the jury. “I call this one ‘Drop, Drop and Drop.’”
That is how many times Brooklyn Traylor named his accomplice in his taped interview with Corinth Police Department detectives following his arrest, said Daniels. Traylor, testifying on Monday, said it was because he had just met with his family, and the word from outside was that “Drop” was involved in the case.
The state repeatedly characterized Bostic not just as the lookout for the robbery but also as directing Traylor, who was 17 at the time of the shooting. Weddle reminded jurors of the moment when Traylor extends the pink and black Ruger 9 mm pistol toward Ledlow. The accomplice can be heard telling Traylor that he’s got the gun “way [expletive] out there.”
Traylor, who pleaded guilty to first-degree murder and attempted armed robbery, was not eligible for the death penalty because of his age. He received a life sentence with the possibility of parole at age 60 on the murder charge.