Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Dead Men Tell No Tales-The Flores Case

Flores v. State, no. 10-0020 (Iowa Ct. App. April 13, 2011)

As expected the Iowa Court of Appeals affirmed the decision of Judge Don Nickerson in the post conviction review matters concerning David Flores.

The basis of the court's decision was that Flores did not receive potentially exculpatory evidence in the form of an interview of one Calvin Gaines (the Gaines interview), and the testimony of Rafael Robinson's former paramour which was considered newly discovered evidence.

The state claimed that it had provided a police report (the Trimble report) to Flores' then attorney John Wellman that related similar information. Judge Nickerson did not agree, finding that the Trimble report had not been provided to Wellman and that it could have materially aided in the preparation of a more adequate defense.

The Trimble report was, in fact, found in the Wellman defense file but the Flores family had taken the file and passed it around to a number of attorneys, promiscuously adding and reorganizing documents until the file was unrecognizable by Dee Mason, Wellman's reader.

What that suggests, of course, is that a defendant's file can be taken, massaged, flaked, formed, chopped and flavored by family members and then reintroduced as evidence, ten years later, that the state withheld evidence.

Parenthetically, the failure of Wellman to call an expert witness to controvert the state ballistics expert's conclusions about the slugs and the spent cartridge cases found at the scene and in the Flores home speaks volumes about Wellman's alleged ability to prepare an adequate defense. But nevermind. For conspiracy theorists it's also interesting to note that the amended Flores post conviction relief petition first raised the issue of potentially exculpatory evidence, in particular the Gaines interview, two months after John Wellman died.

The Court of Appeals concluded that the Gaines report that had not been furnished to the Flores defense attorney fell squarely within the reach of Brady v. Maryland.

The testimony of Carla Harris was found to be credible, newly discovered evidence albeit hearsay that was admissible as an exception to the rule. Harris testified that Rafael Robinson-also deceased-admitted to her that he had shot Phyllis Davis.
Harris, knowing this, and being the paramour of a leading member of the Des Moines Crip franchise-engaged in a deadly war with the Blood set- in that hothouse summer of 1996, stated she was unaware that Flores had been tried, convicted, and sentenced for the murder of Phyllis Davis until 2007.

The entire affair would leave a group of preschoolers shaking their little heads in dismay.

Is this case heading for further review by the Supreme Court?

You bet your last Confederate dollar it is.

Just so you remember, the picture's of Phyllis Davis-gunned down in the middle of the intersection of University Avenue and 9th Street in Des Moines. Driving home from work she stumbled into a shootout between homicidal gangs of thugs, a bullet from a .22 caliber rifle entered her chest. Her Nissan Sentra rolled into the intersection and she drowned in her own blood in broad daylight.

That's what this case is all about, lest you forget.


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