Fallbrook gang member Christopher Flores was convicted of attempted murder and sentenced to 30 years to life plus another 20 years in state prison on Monday, December 1.
The total years were compounded because of allegations that Flores used a firearm and the crime was committed for benefit of a gang; plus, Flores, 21, already had one violent strike conviction before he turned 18 years old.
Flores was reportedly serving time in a juvenile facility when he led an attack on a group of Vista Homeboys who were housed near the place set aside for a group of Varrio Fallbrook Locos inmates, according to prosecutor Cal Logan. For that offense, in 2011, Flores was convicted of a violent “strike” assault.
Flores’s most recent conviction was in December 2013 for an attempted-murder-shooting that occurred in May of 2013. The jury heard testimony from the man targeted for assassination; he said he saw the defendant pull a revolver from under his sweatshirt and start shooting. The witness said he ran past a truck parked on a Fallbrook street, and he heard the truck’s rear-view mirror shatter above his head as he ducked.
After the guilty verdict a year ago, Flores got a new attorney, motions were filed for a new trial, and sentencing was delayed until today.
Prosecutor Cal Logan, a gang specialist, spoke to the judge before the sentence was pronounced.
Logan reviewed the dates that Flores had been in and out of custody, making a point of how many times he had re-offended while on probation. The prosecutor declared that Flores “refused to prove himself law-abiding in any way, in the short amount of times he was out of custody he just continued to commit more crimes.”
The prosecutor opined that a defendant like Flores “is the reason for the Three Strikes Law” and “the lengthy prison term is for defendants just like Mr. Flores.”
Logan concluded, “Society needs to be free of him. Guys like him are dangerous and violent and, given another chance, they just commit more crimes.”
Judge Blaine Bowman declined to “strike the strike,” as defense attorney Herb Weston had requested. Therefore, the prior strike doubled the base term of 15 years to life up to 30 years to-life.
Judge Bowman noticed that Flores’s mother and girlfriend were in the courtroom for the sentencing. “You let both of them down, completely,” the judge told Flores. “You are going to most likely spend the rest of your life in prison.”
The judge noticed that Flores has 632 days of custody credits so far. “It’s just a waste of a life,” the judge said, sounding frustrated.
Flores said, “I love you” to both his girlfriend and his mom while the bailiff led him out of the courtroom.