Remarkable People: Curtescine Lloyd, a woman not to be trifled with.

Submitted by Charlton Stanley (aka Otteray Scribe), Guest Blogger

“If you’ve got ’em by the balls, their hearts and minds will follow.”
– Lyndon Baines Johnson, 36th President of the United States.

Town of Edwards, MSI should have known something was up. I came home from work one day and my wife met me at the door. “Somebody broke into Curtescine’s house and tried to rape her.” Curtescine Lloyd was one of the nurses on the oncology floor at the hospital. Curtescine lived in Edwards MS, a small bedroom community just a few miles west of where we lived.

Shocked, I asked if there was any word on whether she was hurt, and did we need to go to the hospital. My wife responded, “Not exactly.”

That isn’t the sort of response one expects in a situation like that, but I was so shocked and upset, I missed the nuance of her reply. Before we get to the rest of the story, let me tell you a bit about my wife and about Curtescine Lloyd. My wife was a Registered Nurse, was a Head Nurse and part time house supervisor at a large hospital in Mississippi. When she started work at the hospital, they did not have an oncology (cancer) unit. Cancer patients had to be sent to another hospital, or were scattered around the hospital on different units.

When we lived in St. Louis, she was assigned to her hospital’s oncology unit. She didn’t know much about cancer patients or cancer treatments when she started, but was a quick study and over time became a specialist in oncology nursing services. After I finished graduate school, we moved to Mississippi where I went to work for the State Department of Health. My wife had no intention of hanging up her nurse’s cap. She got her Mississippi license and went to work.

Within two months of joining the nursing staff of one of the largest hospitals in Mississippi, she was promoted to Head Nurse in charge of a busy medical-surgical unit. That went along smoothly for several years. Her floor was where all the doctors wanted their patients if a bed was available. Yet, she was not happy with the treatment cancer patients were getting at the time. She approached management and informed (not asked—you would have to know my wife to understand fully) the hospital administrator that she was converting her med-surg floor to an oncology unit.

Cancer nurses are a special lot. They have to be compassionate and caring, but also very tough. Cancer is a terrible disease, and treatments often go on for months, sometimes years. Because of the length of time patients are on the unit, staff gets to know the patients and their extended families. They become attached to many of the patients, but many of the patients do not survive. Not just any nurse or doctor can handle oncology work; they need a special kind of tough mindedness. Knowing what she needed to staff a cancer unit, my wife scoured the hospital like a professional headhunter. She convinced some of the best nurses in the hospital to come work for her. Curtescine Lloyd was one of those nurses. Ms. Lloyd was a middle-aged black lady. Very dignified, strong faith in God and a Sunday school teacher. She is one of those people who ooze compassion and empathy. One of the most beloved nurses at the hospital. However, when talking to a professional oncology nurse, don’t let the kind and gentle exterior fool you. Inside, they have the kind of fortitude a Marine Sergeant Major would envy. A thug named Dwight Coverson was about to find that out.

Curtescine was at her home in Edwards, and had just dozed off to sleep around midnight when Mr. Dwight Coverson appeared in her bedroom and proceeded to disrobe. While removing his clothing, he starts telling her what he is going to do to her in rather graphic terms. Once naked, he climbs into her bed and wants her to perform certain sex acts on him. Unexpectedly for him, our sweet Sunday school teacher nurse suddenly morphs into The Hulk.

As she later explained it to me, “He stuck that thing in my face, and it sticking straight out. So I grabbed it with my right hand and twisted as hard as I could. Then I noticed them things hanging down, and grabbed them with my left hand and squeezed as hard as I could, and twisted them the opposite direction.”

Needless to say, by this time Curtescine had the man’s undivided attention. He started screaming that she was hurting him. Since I don’t want to break WordPress, I can’t put it down exactly as she said it. Let’s just say our compassionate nurse was suddenly not at all compassionate, informing him that since he was going to hurt her, she was not at all impressed by his entreaties. At the bottom of this story is a the court reporter’s actual audiotape. You can hear her explain what happened in her own voice.

Curtescine dragged the would-be rapist to the front door by his unmentionables. Curtescine was not about to let go or let up. She made him unlock the front door, which had two deadbolt locks. Complicating his task was the fact he kept falling to the floor, screaming in pain. Curtescine kept hauling him to his feet, using the…handles…on which she had a death grip. Not only a grip, but she continued to both squeeze and twist. After he finally got the two deadbolts unlocked, his problems were not over. She coolly informed him he still needed to unlock the screen door. By this time he is pleading with her to call the police. She told him she was not an idiot, that she would have to let go of him to use the phone, giving him an extra twist to make her point. He wanted to go straight off the porch, but she dragged him the full length of the porch to the far end. As she finally released her grip on him, she informed him she was going inside to get her gun so she could come back and shoot him. By this time, he was a True Believer. Whatever she said she was going to do, he was convinced she would do it. She did hurry back inside to get her aunt’s pistol. Returning to the porch, she fired two shots in the direction she last saw him running. Keep in mind that he was wearing only his socks as he fled from her house. I am not sure “running” is the right word. He seems to have been departing as fast as he could manage while hunched over.

Dwight Coverson  2011 photo
Dwight Coverson
2011 photo

When the Sheriff’s department arrived, investigators found the would-be rapist had been wearing monogrammed clothes. His name was sewn into his clothing, a detail that simplified the manhunt a great deal. When Deputy Sheriff Dennis Moulder went to his residence to arrest him, 29 year old Dwight Coverson was still writhing in pain, expressing doubt that he would ever be able to have children.

The trial attracted considerable media attention. The courtroom was packed when Curtescine Lloyd testified. On the court reporter’s tape, you can hear muffled giggles. The prosecutor was Bobby DeLaughter, who also prosecuted Byron De La Beckwith, the man who assassinated Medgar Evers. Bobby was played brilliantly by Alec Baldwin in the movie Ghosts of Mississippi. George Luter, Coverson’s defense attorney, had virtually nothing to work with as a defense. I felt sorry for George.

The jury was out exactly seven minutes before returning a guilty verdict. It wouldn’t have taken that long, but two of the jurors had to go to the bathroom. Dwight Coverson was sentenced to twenty-five years. In 1993, the Mississippi Supreme Court upheld the conviction. I can only imagine what it must have been like for Dwight Coverson as an inmate. There is no way the history of his crime could be kept secret from the other inmates.

Coverson is out of prison now, and according to the sex offender registry, has been living in Chicago. He was rearrested in Cook County, Il several times in the past year. Most of the arrests are for failure to notify the sex offender registry of changes of address. The mug shot above is from Cook County, Illinois in 2011.  The original 1990 mug shot from Hinds County is not available.

This link takes you to the opinion of the Mississippi Supreme Court. Coverson v. Mississippi, 617 So. 2d 642 (1993)

The opinion includes Ms. Lloyd’s testimony verbatim. I know what happened, since I knew all the Justices, some of whom have a wicked sense of humor. They couldn’t resist quoting that section of trial transcript in the opinion so it would be preserved forever in Southern Second.

A local radio station got a copy of the court reporter’s tape. This was broadcast the day after the Mississippi Supreme Court decision was handed down. They had to bleep it a bit, but you can hear what she said in court.


50 thoughts on “Remarkable People: Curtescine Lloyd, a woman not to be trifled with.”

  1. Not ever one sees things the same way, not even lawyers or Judges.

    But they do all put their pants on one leg at a time & have plumbing issues.

    (Plumbers have everyone by the balls! 🙂 ) (BTW I’m not a plumber now, but I know which way the stuff flows. 😉 )

    Many times my opinions seem to be an outerly opinions.

    Which that doesn’t bother me in the least knowing the norms that history is played out against.

    I make every effort to look at what I think may be facts through an unbiased lens.

    In the Sand Springs case of the homeowner shooting in the back/killing a suspected thief guy over a worthless $250/$500 push mower, should I change my opinion depending on the profession of the shooter?

    In most cases I think not.

    Well, if I were the DA or just another local citizen I hope it wouldn’t, but I would consider it in deliberation of what’s called for.

    If what I understand about the case is true I’m glad the DA made the best decision for the community as a whole from a bad shooting.

    The shooter was an off duty Tulsa PD living in Sand Springs.

    And even though it was a bad shooting, if I were the DA, I would have done the same in public & in non-public taken action to restrict that patrolman’s access to firearms & his possibilities of being involved in other shooting scenarios.

    There is no way to codify everything into a law or reg and people tasked with management need bit of space to maneuver the different scenarios.

  2. Pork Chop,

    That 1st case I mentioned, Sand Springs,

    That was a bad shooting. I don’t even think it was over a riding lawn mower, but a damn push mower.

    The homeowner should have just let the crook go on that one.

    But he didn’t.

    The then DA made the best he could with a bad shooting. He sent a massage to the community & any would be thieves that this community would not tolerate rampant out of control criminality & the criminals should consider the possibility they might be shot dead engaging in criminal acts.

    And that the DA would not help the family of the criminal to sue the homeowner for negligent homicide/manslaughter by the DA’s act of filing a criminal case against the homeowner.

    The Wagner area rancher murder case is easy, he should have armed & better prepared to defend himself, but he’s dead now.

    The OKC drug store robbery attempt & the Vinita Rancher cases are tougher.

    It’s impossible to judge these cases just from news reports, so we can not.

    In the OKC case I’m sure the trouble for the pharmacist was over the reloading the gun & shooting the would be robber again.

    But I don’t know if the robber, already shot, laying the floor bleeding, was he moving or did he still have a gun in his hand or close by, that I don’t know.

    I can understand why the pharmacist jacked up over the attempted robbery shot the ahole.

    As I remember the Vinita Rancher case, it’s the most troubling for me. I remember following that case in the local news. Best I recall that Rancher did most everything he should have correctly yet the jury most have heard evidence or something to rule him guilty & give him 5.

    I know from my own decades of business experience one sometimes need to think fast & attempt to be a better master at defusing conflict before it turns to violence.

  3. Amazing story! The heavy sentencing was probably unnecessary though; running up taxes with the assumption that a criminal will always be so & never learn a lesson; why we have 10x the inmates in USA versus the world.

    1. Sex offenders have an incredibly high recidivism rate. Murderers, typically, do not. Incarceration has little to do with anyone “learning a lesson.”

  4. ** I don’t know where you got your law degree, randyjet, but plainly not at a law school that taught actual law.

    “Just down the road” is “gone” for purposes of the law of self-defense. You are right, he could have changed his mind and returned — if he did, he wouldn’t be “gone” anymore, and self-defense would have been justified.

    Actually, lawyers love people with your attitude — they seem to need lawyers a lot.


    Sand Springs Oklahoma, thief steals lawnmower & is running away from the home when the homeowner shoots him in the back & kills him. No charges filed.

    Oklahoma City, I believe it was 2 armed guys go in to rob a drug store, pharmacist draws his own gun, shoots one & chases the other from the store. Pharmacist comes back, reloads the gun & fires a few more round into the 1st would be robber.

    I think he got 5 years in the pen. If I’d had the time I’d read the transcript of the trial. If the details are as I imagine the maybe, the pharmacist was still under the influence of an adrenalin rush at the thought of a shoot out & the possibility of being killed. If I thought that was the case & I was the DA, I’d dropped the case, If the Judge, I’d have throw the case out, as a jurist I’d at least hung the jury.

    (Who the local DA is matters!)

    Up around the rural area of Vinita Ok, around 25 years ago, rancher catches rustlers stealing his cattle, rancher opens fire, kills one, maybe wounded the other & he run off.

    Case goes to court, jury I think gave the rancher 5 years in the pen.

    About a month after the Vinita trial, about 60 miles south, Wagner Okla area, Rancher catches thieves stealing his cattle, thieves draw their guns and leave the rancher Murdered and get away with his cattle. I don’t recall the murders ever getting caught.

    Lesson taught:

    Rule number one: I have no time to do no time! So don’t be screwing up in the 1st place & if you are screwing up, quit immediately!

    2) Always be prepared to defend yourself against violence and if you don’t know who are some of the competent lawyers in your area, find out, and know what jurisdiction you’re in, find out & be prepared to defend yourself against violent prosecution by the court system if necessary.

  5. OS,

    It sounds like she would have needed to be fairly strong to deal with those patients.

  6. Porkchop,
    I never asked her how tall she was, but guess about 5’3 or 5’4, fifty-year-old middle aged lady, somewhat plump. She certainly was not a martial arts type of person. She was, however, used to helping very sick patients, turning them and helping lift them when necessary.

    No one at the time made any big deal out of her popping a cap into the woods in the general direction she last saw him. In that part of the country, it is sort of expected that the victim of a violent crime might want to get off a couple of parting shots if they have the opportunity. That is especially true if the crime is rape.

    Keep also in mind that in that part of the world, people of color have been the victims for a long time, and they are just now able to fight back without fear of being lynched.

  7. The 2 sets of numbers I’m hearing are that guns are used 40 times to stop a violent attack from a criminal for every one time a criminal uses a gun to violently against a victim, and the other number is 80 to 1 times guns are used in the victims favor.

    Yet the George Orwell 1984 type propaganda of the truth is a lie & a lie is the truth leaves many believing American should have all their weapons seized by the govt.

    Had the criminal’s 1st punch against Ms Lloyd been successful this happy ending story would be far different.

    Even though in this case the gun was Ms Lloyd’s 2nd line of defence, there are those that would deny her her “Inalienable Right” to self defence, thus leaving her to be raped/robbed/murdered.

    I can partially understand the gun grabbers failed logic.

    Many likely live in extremely high density cities packed in like sardines, have no experience around guns or their friends & neighbors being armed so they have no trust of friends/neighbors to be responsible. So they live in constant fear from bullies & think that magically the tooth fairy will show up in just the nick of time to save them from the thug.

    Whatever is wrong with the criminal’s mind to begin with, the armed Ms Lloyd’s of the world are one of the best deterrent to criminals committing crimes.

  8. I don’t know where you got your law degree, randyjet, but plainly not at a law school that taught actual law.

    “Just down the road” is “gone” for purposes of the law of self-defense. You are right, he could have changed his mind and returned — if he did, he wouldn’t be “gone” anymore, and self-defense would have been justified.

    Actually, lawyers love people with your attitude — they seem to need lawyers a lot.

  9. Personally, I would have thought he was already scared enough.

    Not to be indelicate, but was Ms. Lloyd a particularly large or strong woman? In martial arts, leverage is everything, but strength and size are not to be discounted.

    I intend to acquaint my adult daughters with this excellent technique. (Two of the three have black belts in taekwondo; one of those two was also a collegiate boxer.) It is a whole different twist on Small-Circle Jiujutsu. Given its simplicity, one wonders why it is not applied more frequently — trepidation of the victim is the most likely explanation, I assume. It takes a lot of courage to cross the gap from victim to active defender, particularly in the face of a substantial size or strength disparity, because failure virtually guarantees a very harsh response — a response that the victim might anticipate to be even worse than her present situation.

  10. Porkchop,
    You are correct, and I thought the same thing. She just wanted to scare him by firing in his general direction. Remember this was between midnight and 1:00 AM. Where she lived was not a densely populated residential area, but rural Mississippi countryside. Everybody concerned knew she didn’t have a prayer of hitting him, because shooting a .38 revolver into the woods and underbrush did not pose a threat to anything other than a pine tree.

    I doubt it even occurred to anyone at the sheriff’s office to even consider filing a charge.

    1. I see that porkchop is very free and easy with other peoples lives and welfare. I wonder how he KNOWS she was out of danger. The rapist was NOT gone, just down the road. He could have easily changed his mind and returned to assault her again. The ONLY ways she could be sure that she would not have that happen are for her to shoot the guy, the cops take him into custody, or the cops show up. Absent the cops being there in two or so minutes which is a real feat even in cities, she was still in danger and thus more than justified in shooting at the crook to let him know she was NOW armed and alert. Had she not had the gun, the guy could have come back to retrieve his clothes at the very least and/or kill her before the cops could get there. My only regret is that she did not put a bullet hole in him.

  11. OS,

    Ms.Lloyd truly does sound like a remarkable woman, and the story is both inspiring and amusing. I listened to the recording and I read the Supreme Court decision.

    One thing stuck out to me, though, when I thought about it a little longer. She was fortunate to have the prosecutor and law enforcement officers she did. In her description of events, she related that following Mr. Coverson’s departure, she went and got a pistol and fired two shots in his direction.

    Even police officers are seldom privileged to use lethal force against a fleeing felon. The immediate danger to Ms. Lloyd was over; Mr. Coverson was gone; she had no need for self-defense at that point. Perhaps in that community, people simply chose to overlook this, based upon the circumstances of the crime that Mr. Coverson was committing at the time and who Ms. Lloyd was. The fact remains that as a matter of law, in almost every state (except, perhaps, Texas), a resident cannot shoot or attempt to shoot a fleeing burglar in the back, especially once the burglar is out of the residence and moving away. The privilege of self-defense only applies during a time of immediate peril. A lot of people in other states have been charged and convicted for doing exactly what Ms. Lloyd did.

  12. OS,

    Nice piece!

    This message board is a bit scary to me at times, like the Star War movie’s bar scene except with people that are extremely talented in the own unique ways.

  13. RobinH45,

    I’ve seen/read/enjoyed your post here before and have the best wishes/ & for your safety on the road you’re traveling.

    I’ve hooked you name into a very large karma bank of good people I associate with.

    Don’t forget if it gets tough, “Use the Force”, it’s in us all, Oky1 said so. 🙂

  14. Mr. Coverson would do well to take Ms. Lloyd’s ‘add-vice’ and–among other things–mend his ways.

  15. AY,
    I believe you are correct. Just to make sure, I am going to see if I can verify that information. I found a death record that sounds right, but she is not listed in Find-A-Grave and I could not find an archived newspaper obituary–at least not yet. Once I can verify the information, I will update the story. Thanks a bunch for the tip.

  16. Curtescine Lloyd was a remarkable woman. I’m not certain, but she may have died in the late 90s, at the age of 60.

  17. Gene,
    Forgot I told you the story. We talked about so much, and the time went by fast. Gotta do that again.

  18. Chuck,

    I know this story from you. When the subject of nurses came up, it was one of the many tales exchanged over dinner.

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