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BREAKING: Ex-Artesia QB convicted in baby killing

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Robert Flores was convicted Thursday afternoon of negligent child abuse and tampering with evidence. The former Artesia High star quarterback was accused  in the death of his 4-month-old daughter in 2007.

Flores, 28, was taken into custody immediately on the order of District Judge Fernando Macías, who ordered a presentence report.

Macías decided to increase the bond to $100,000, so Flores will remain in custody until the amount is posted.

Flores was home alone with his infant child while his girlfriend was at work. He put the child in a laundry basket of dirty clothes in a dark closet, according to trial testimony, though the prosecution said it was so neighbors wouldn’t hear her cry and the defense contended it was so she would be comfortable. The child died of asphyxiation.

Flores’ attorney Mark Pickett declined comment after the verdict.

Assistant District Attorney Jacinto Palomino said after the verdict that Flores gave a statement to police in which he said that even after finding the child unresponsive, he put her on the bed for an hour, telling police “I hoped she’d wake up.”

Police were called to the residence when the mother returned from work at 3:30 a.m. on Dec. 6, 2007, and found her daughter Kalynne dead.


 

Monday, Feb. 4, 2012:

The prosecution was expected to rest Tuesday in the criminal case against Robert Flores, former Artesia High star quarterback who is accused of negligent child abuse resulting in the death of his 4-month-old daughter in 2007.
Flores was charged with negligent child abuse after the death of the baby. His wife had returned home from work and found her in a laundry basket, pale and stiff. The child was later pronounced dead at a Las
Cruces hospital.
A jury in Albuquerque, where the case was moved on a change of venue because of pretrial publicity, heard testimony Monday from Las Cruces police officer Kacee Thatcher, who questioned Flores at the police station without an attorney present.
Jurors also saw video of an emotionally distraught Flores speaking to his wife in a low voice after being left alone for an hour in an
interview room, and video of his interaction with his parents. He told them that he had “messed up” and “given them (police) what they wanted.”
The jury is slated to heard from another officer, Edgar Rosa, and the Office of the Medical Investigator before the prosecution rests and the defense begins calling witnesses.


 

Wed, Jan. 30, 2012:

The trial of a Las Cruces man — former Artesia High School star quarterback Robert Flores — charged with the death of his baby girl in December 2007 got under way Wednesday in Albuquerque, according to the Las Cruces Sun-News and KOB-TV.

Robert Flores, 28, was charged with negligent child abuse after the baby girl’s mother returned home from work and found the 4-month-old unresponsive in a laundry basket, the Sun-News said. The girl was pronounced dead at a local hospital.

Flores told police at the time that he didn’t want to take the baby with him to buy a 40-ounce bottle of beer at a nearby convenience store, the paper reported.

Prosecutor Jacinto Palomino with the 3rd Judicial District Attorney’s Office told the Sun-News that Wednesday’s trial in Albuquerque opened with jury selection, opening statements and testimony of two witnesses — friends of the child’s mother who had been watching the girl before dropping her off with Flores.

The trial is scheduled to run through Feb. 8, but Palomino told the paper that it could wrap up sooner.

Palomino said in his opening statement that Flores forgot about Kalynne, started watching a movie and drinking, then later when he remembered, found the child dead in the clothes basket where he left her, according to Eyewitness News 4.

“The state, the prosecution, is trying to take a tragedy and turn it into a terrible crime,” defense attorney Mark Pickett told jurors in opening, KOB-TV reported.


6:36am 6/28/12 — Appellate Ruling Stands in 2007 Baby-Death Case

By ABQnews Staff

Jurors will not hear evidence that Robert J. Flores went to a store to buy beer and cigarettes when he left his baby daughter alone in a laundry hamper where she died nearly five years ago, the Las Cruces Sun-News reported.

The New Mexico Supreme Court recently declined to review an appellate court decision that affirmed a ruling by state District Judge Fernando R. Macias, who said the evidence is irrelevant and would unfairly prejudice a jury against the 26-year-old Flores, who is charged with one count of intentional child abuse resulting in death, the Sun-News said.

Four-month-old Kalynne Flores died of asphyxia after being left alone in a laundry basket inside a closet, and her mother found her unresponsive after getting home from work in the early-morning hours of Dec. 6, 2007, the paper reported.

When the case comes to trial, jurors will still hear evidence that Flores had been drinking that evening, that he left his daughter alone in the laundry basket when he went to the store and that police found empty alcoholic containers in the house, the Sun-News said.

The trial is likely to be moved to Albuquerque because of publicity the case has generated, defense attorney Mark Pickett told the Sun-News.


3:20pm 11/4/10 — Judge Denies Motion To Dismiss 2007 Baby-Death Case: Judge still hearing defense motions before trial of Robert Flores, 26, can proceed.

A motion to dismiss the fatal child-abuse case against Robert J. Flores was denied Tuesday by state District Judge Fernando Macias, who didn’t accept defense assertions that a key piece of evidence in the case had been tampered with after being removed from the scene, the Las Cruces Sun-News reported.

Flores, 26, is accused of having caused the death of his baby daughter nearly three years ago by leaving her in a laundry basket full of clothing where she allegedly suffocated, and he has pleaded not guilty, the Sun-News said.

The Pickett Law Firm of Las Cruces, which is defending Flores, had claimed that the laundry basket appeared to have been tampered with by police, according to earlier reports.

Four-month-old Kalynne Flores was found unresponsive on the morning of Dec. 6, 2007, and prosecutors claim that Flores put her in the clothes hamper while he left the apartment to buy beer, the Sun-News said.

Several other defense motions must be argued and decided before Flores can go to trial, including another attempt to dismiss the grand jury indictment, a motion to exclude testimony and the autopsy report of a state forensic pathologist and a motion regarding jury selection procedures, the paper reported.

It was decided in June to move the estimated six-day trial to Albuquerque because of extensive pretrial publicity in Las Cruces.

 


 

10:05am 8/12/10 — Las Cruces Judge Withdraws from 2007
Baby-Suffocation Case: Trial of former football star, scheduled to
start this month in ABQ, postponed again.

State District Judge Stephen Bridgforth has recused himself from overseeing the trial of Robert J. Flores on charges that Flores caused the death of his baby daughter in 2007 by leaving her to suffocate in a laundry basket, the Las Cruces Sun-News reported.

Jury selection was scheduled to begin Aug. 31 in Albuquerque, where the trial was moved in June because of extensive pretrial publicity in Las Cruces, the Sun-News said.

Flores, a former football star at Artesia High School, has pleaded not guilty to charges of intentional child abuse resulting in death, a first-degree felony that could mean life in prison; one count of abuse or abandonment of a child; and two counts of tampering with evidence, the paper reported. He remains free on $150,000 bond.

“Robert Flores and his family are very disappointed that this matter is not going to trial when it was scheduled on August 31,” attorney Lawrence Pickett told the Sun-News on Wednesday. “They’ve been waiting almost three years to have this matter resolved. Unfortunately, we can’t control recusals and we’ll just have to simply wait until (there’s) a new judge.”

Chief Deputy District Attorney Susan Riedel said she didn’t know why Bridgforth recused himself.

“Judges are not required to tell us what their reasoning is, but I’m sure he did it for what he felt was a good reason,” Riedel told the Sun-News.

Bridgforth, the most senior member of the 3rd Judicial District Court’s criminal bench, is thought to be nearing retirement after more than a decade on the bench, sources in the legal community told the Sun-News.

State District Judges Fernando Macias or Lisa Schultz could be assigned to hear the case next week, the paper reported.

 


 

6:35am 6/9/10 — Las Cruces Man Accused in Baby’s Death To Be Tried in ABQ: Former Artesia football star is charged with causing daughter’s death in 2007.

Robert J. Flores, 25, of Las Cruces, who is accused of causing his baby daughter’s death in December 2007 by leaving her in a clothes hamper, will go on trial in Albuquerque in September, the Las Cruces Sun-News reported.

The six-day trial before state District Judge Stephen Bridgforth of Las Cruces will begin Sept. 2 where the case was moved because of extensive pretrial publicity in Las Cruces, the Sun-News said.

Flores has pleaded not guilty to charges of intentional child abuse resulting in death, a first-degree felony punishable by life in prison; one count of abandonment or abuse of a child; and two counts of tampering with evidence, the paper reported.

A former high school football star in Artesia, Flores is accused of placing 4-month-old Kalynne Flores in a clothes hamper which he put in a closet while he went out to buy beer, then returned to find the baby unresponsive, according to court records and earlier reports.

Five previous trial dates have been scrapped, but Deputy District Attorney Susan Riedel told the Sun-News she expects the September trial date to stand.


 

7:35pm 11/18/09 — Trial in Child Abuse Case Will Be Moved From Las
Cruces: District Attorney says trial for man accused in death of his
infant daughter likely will be moved to Albuquerque.

The district attorney in Las Cruces says the trial of a man accused of causing the death of his infant daughter by leaving her in a clothes hamper while he allegedly went to buy beer likely will be moved to Albuquerque, the Las Cruces Sun-News reported.

State District Judge Stephen Bridgforth, who had denied a change of venue motion earlier this month, decided Wednesday that the trial of 25-year-old Robert J. Flores of Las Cruces should be moved from Las Cruces, the newspaper said.

The Sun-News reported that attorneys for Flores, who on Tuesday had re-filed the motion seeking to have the trial moved, contend media coverage of the case has improperly influenced potential jurors.

District Attorney Susana Martinez said that since Bridgforth initially denied the motion earlier this month, the number of potential jurors who said they were already prejudiced in the case has increased to 54 percent, according to the newspaper.

She told the Sun-News that Bridgforth “said he didn’t think we could choose a jury because there were was so much influence or impact on jurors.”

Martinez said that in Albuquerque there would be a larger number of potential jurors, the newspaper reported.

The Sun-News said that according to court records, Flores is accused of causing the December 2007 death of his daughter, 4-month-old Kalynne Flores, by putting her in a clothes hamper and then putting the hamper in a closet.

Authorities say Flores allegedly left to purchase beer and later found the infant unresponsive, according to the newspaper. The baby’s mother was at work.

Flores has pleaded not guilty to charges of intentional child abuse resulting in death, a first-degree felony punishable by life in prison; one count of abandonment or abuse of a child; and two counts of tampering with evidence.

 

 


 

Tuesday, 27 October 2009 11:44

 

A change of venue is being sought by attorneys for the trial of a Las Cruces man accused of causing the death of his infant daughter by leaving her in a clothes hamper when he went to buy beer, the Las Cruces Sun-News reported.

Robert J. Flores, 24, has pleaded not guilty to a charge of intentional child abuse resulting in death, which is punishable by life in prison, the newspaper reported. The charge stems from the 2007 death of his daughter, 4-month-old Kalynne Flores.

The Sun-News said that defense attorneys argued before state District Judge Stephen Bridgforth on Monday that the trial should be moved because headlines and coverage in local newspapers and television stations have sensationalized the case against Flores, leading to possible juror bias. They also contended that their client’s right to a speedy trail has been violated, accusing the District Attorney’s Office of taking too long to file documents related to the case.

Deputy District Attorney Susan Riedel argued in response that there’s no indication that jurors aren’t capable of separating any information they read in news reports from the facts presented at trial. Riedel also maintained that the state has proceeded with the case in a timely manner and that the defense, by filing last-minute motions before courtroom proceedings, has actually caused delays, according to the newspaper.

The Sun-News reported that the defense also is asking the court to keep family members of Kalynne from wearing pink shirts with her photo and a poem to the courtroom.

Bridgforth said he would rule on the motions, likely later this week, according to the newspaper.

Flores is free on $150,000 bond, the Sun-News said.

The newspaper reported that according to court records, Flores is accused of causing the baby’s death by putting her in a clothes hamper and then putting the hamper in a closet. He allegedly left to purchase beer and later found the infant unresponsive. The baby’s mother, a nurse, was working at a hospital that night.

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