4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs

29 years in jail for failed attempt to kill O’side cop

“You are a purely evil person,” the judge told Roberto Flores

Roberto Flores listened to the officer's wife point out how stupid he is at least ten times.
Roberto Flores listened to the officer's wife point out how stupid he is at least ten times.

“There are two words to describe you, just pure evil,” San Diego Superior Court judge Blaine Bowman told Robert Ignacio Flores at his sentencing hearing on November 30.

Judge Blaine Bowman listening to victims' impact statements

Flores, 26, tried to kill Oceanside police officer Brad Hunter on June 19, 2017. Flores stared dully ahead and made no acknowledgment of the judge for more than an hour, throughout the entire hearing.

Judge Bowman, who heard the trial last month, remarked, “If Hunter were not a motorcycle cop, you would have killed him.” Experts testified that the motorcycle helmet saved Hunter’s life when Flores ran into him while driving a small Dodge sedan.

Bowman said, “Your plan was to kill him.” And, “You would be facing the death penalty if he were killed.” Flores continued to sit silent, with heavily lidded eyes. “I know you don’t care about the fact he survived,” Bowman continued. “You don’t care because you are a purely evil person.” And the judge sentenced Flores to the maximum possible sentence under California law, 29 years to life, for the attempted murder of a peace officer.

Before the judge made his remarks and pronounced sentence, three persons made “victim impact statements” to the court.

Oceanside police chief Frank McCoy and prosecutor Keith Watanabe

The chief of Oceanside police, Frank McCoy, spoke for three minutes. He pointed out that officer Hunter was targeted because he was wearing a uniform. “It was not a personal vengeance, but a personal satisfaction for the defendant to kill someone who represented law and order,” McCoy declared. And then he asked the judge for “the most severe punishment as allowed by law.”

Brad Hunter’s wife, Vanessa Hunter, spoke for ten minutes. She was remarkably composed when she described getting the phone call informing her that her husband was on the way to the hospital. She said that as she drove to the hospital she “pleaded with God not to let Brad die.” After her husband regained consciousness, Mrs. Hunter said she told him what happened, and her husband responded in wonder, “He did it on purpose? Wow.” She remarked of her husband, “Emotionally, he is an absolute rock.” She informed the crowded courtroom that the large skin grafts her husband suffered would be lifelong reminders of the event.

“Our good prevailed over your evil that day," Vanessa Hunter told Flores.

In her closing remarks, Hunter turned her attention to Flores, who was seated only a few feet from where she stood. “Our good prevailed over your evil that day," she said. "Your decision to run over my husband was stupid.” And she called Flores stupid probably ten more times, using various examples, ending with: “Stupid is as stupid does, Roberto.” Mrs. Hunter asked the judge for the maximum sentence, looking at Flores again when she said, “I want you in prison for as long as possible.”

Brad Hunter upon waking from his coma: “He did it on purpose? Wow.”

Brad Hunter, 49, spoke for about 15 minutes. The courtroom was filled with more than 40 supporters; every seat was taken, and the overflow of people stood close together against the back and side walls of the room. Some were in law-enforcement uniform and others were in street clothes. Officer Hunter reassured his friends that he is “doing well. My physical injuries are healing nicely.” He thanked a friend who spent a lot of time in the hospital room with his wife, waiting for the officer to awaken from his coma.

Officer Hunter said that people have asked him why Flores was at liberty after he was arrested for being a felon in possession of assault rifle, which gave Flores opportunity to use his car as a weapon against a peace officer, and the cop said he does not know how to respond to that. “By the grace of God and good helmet I survived Mr. Flores’s attack….

“I have no doubt Flores will brag about this to become some kind of big deal in prison,” Officer Hunter said. He echoed his boss, Chief McCoy, when he told the judge, “Mr. Flores’s attack on me was an attack on every police officer.” He expressed fear that if Flores ever had another opportunity he would make another attempt on another officer and would perhaps be more successful the next time.

In brief remarks, prosecutor Keith Watanabe agreed, “It is unfortunate he was even out on bail to commit this crime.”

Flores being led away to prison

Judge Bowman also heard evidence about the prior offense Flores had been arrested for, possession of an assault rifle. Judge Bowman noted that investigators found “military grade” items, such as a kevlar helmet and body armor, which caused the judge to wonder what Flores intended with those items. “It would seem you had a much greater plan of some sort,” Bowman said. “If your actions towards officer Hunter are any indication, it couldn’t have been good.”

Disputing remarks by the prosecutor, defense attorney John Wilschke denied that Flores is a gang member, saying, “He just had friends in high school who were associates.” Court paperwork stated Flores graduated from Twin Oaks High School in San Marcos. Wilschke said that Flores’s prior convictions, for a petty theft in 2010 and meth sales in 2013, were “not an extensive criminal history.”

The judge asked Flores, “Do you have anything you want to say?” Flores never said a word.

As three sheriff’s deputies led the defendant from the room in handcuffs and chains, the last thing the judge said was, “Good luck, Mr. Flores.”

Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all

Previous article

Bub’s Berry Smash: mulling over the mule

A really refreshing cocktail for summertime.
Next Article

You can always find me in H&M

If you want a riddle, I’ll give you a riddle.
Roberto Flores listened to the officer's wife point out how stupid he is at least ten times.
Roberto Flores listened to the officer's wife point out how stupid he is at least ten times.

“There are two words to describe you, just pure evil,” San Diego Superior Court judge Blaine Bowman told Robert Ignacio Flores at his sentencing hearing on November 30.

Judge Blaine Bowman listening to victims' impact statements

Flores, 26, tried to kill Oceanside police officer Brad Hunter on June 19, 2017. Flores stared dully ahead and made no acknowledgment of the judge for more than an hour, throughout the entire hearing.

Judge Bowman, who heard the trial last month, remarked, “If Hunter were not a motorcycle cop, you would have killed him.” Experts testified that the motorcycle helmet saved Hunter’s life when Flores ran into him while driving a small Dodge sedan.

Bowman said, “Your plan was to kill him.” And, “You would be facing the death penalty if he were killed.” Flores continued to sit silent, with heavily lidded eyes. “I know you don’t care about the fact he survived,” Bowman continued. “You don’t care because you are a purely evil person.” And the judge sentenced Flores to the maximum possible sentence under California law, 29 years to life, for the attempted murder of a peace officer.

Before the judge made his remarks and pronounced sentence, three persons made “victim impact statements” to the court.

Oceanside police chief Frank McCoy and prosecutor Keith Watanabe

The chief of Oceanside police, Frank McCoy, spoke for three minutes. He pointed out that officer Hunter was targeted because he was wearing a uniform. “It was not a personal vengeance, but a personal satisfaction for the defendant to kill someone who represented law and order,” McCoy declared. And then he asked the judge for “the most severe punishment as allowed by law.”

Brad Hunter’s wife, Vanessa Hunter, spoke for ten minutes. She was remarkably composed when she described getting the phone call informing her that her husband was on the way to the hospital. She said that as she drove to the hospital she “pleaded with God not to let Brad die.” After her husband regained consciousness, Mrs. Hunter said she told him what happened, and her husband responded in wonder, “He did it on purpose? Wow.” She remarked of her husband, “Emotionally, he is an absolute rock.” She informed the crowded courtroom that the large skin grafts her husband suffered would be lifelong reminders of the event.

“Our good prevailed over your evil that day," Vanessa Hunter told Flores.

In her closing remarks, Hunter turned her attention to Flores, who was seated only a few feet from where she stood. “Our good prevailed over your evil that day," she said. "Your decision to run over my husband was stupid.” And she called Flores stupid probably ten more times, using various examples, ending with: “Stupid is as stupid does, Roberto.” Mrs. Hunter asked the judge for the maximum sentence, looking at Flores again when she said, “I want you in prison for as long as possible.”

Brad Hunter upon waking from his coma: “He did it on purpose? Wow.”

Brad Hunter, 49, spoke for about 15 minutes. The courtroom was filled with more than 40 supporters; every seat was taken, and the overflow of people stood close together against the back and side walls of the room. Some were in law-enforcement uniform and others were in street clothes. Officer Hunter reassured his friends that he is “doing well. My physical injuries are healing nicely.” He thanked a friend who spent a lot of time in the hospital room with his wife, waiting for the officer to awaken from his coma.

Officer Hunter said that people have asked him why Flores was at liberty after he was arrested for being a felon in possession of assault rifle, which gave Flores opportunity to use his car as a weapon against a peace officer, and the cop said he does not know how to respond to that. “By the grace of God and good helmet I survived Mr. Flores’s attack….

“I have no doubt Flores will brag about this to become some kind of big deal in prison,” Officer Hunter said. He echoed his boss, Chief McCoy, when he told the judge, “Mr. Flores’s attack on me was an attack on every police officer.” He expressed fear that if Flores ever had another opportunity he would make another attempt on another officer and would perhaps be more successful the next time.

In brief remarks, prosecutor Keith Watanabe agreed, “It is unfortunate he was even out on bail to commit this crime.”

Flores being led away to prison

Judge Bowman also heard evidence about the prior offense Flores had been arrested for, possession of an assault rifle. Judge Bowman noted that investigators found “military grade” items, such as a kevlar helmet and body armor, which caused the judge to wonder what Flores intended with those items. “It would seem you had a much greater plan of some sort,” Bowman said. “If your actions towards officer Hunter are any indication, it couldn’t have been good.”

Disputing remarks by the prosecutor, defense attorney John Wilschke denied that Flores is a gang member, saying, “He just had friends in high school who were associates.” Court paperwork stated Flores graduated from Twin Oaks High School in San Marcos. Wilschke said that Flores’s prior convictions, for a petty theft in 2010 and meth sales in 2013, were “not an extensive criminal history.”

The judge asked Flores, “Do you have anything you want to say?” Flores never said a word.

As three sheriff’s deputies led the defendant from the room in handcuffs and chains, the last thing the judge said was, “Good luck, Mr. Flores.”

Sponsored
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

You can always find me in H&M

If you want a riddle, I’ll give you a riddle.
Next Article

Reading about La Jolla reminds him of Paris

Escondido critical race fan applauds shutting down of white cis-hetero
Comments
14

Excellent report as always, Eva. A number of things come to mind. He wasn't a gang member, says the defense attorney. They ALWAYS say that, and usually it is untrue. Then there's the matter of him being out on bail when this went down. We might be curious as to how he made bail; who bailed him out? If he was nervy enough to try to run down a cop, he's likely to try something with prison staff. The guards already will know he was sent up for attempting to kill a cop, and they don't like that at all. So, it is likely he'll do something while in prison that is equally serious if he ever gets the chance. Three bailiffs took him out of the courtroom. I think the usual procedure is for two to handle the task. They likely fear that he will try something at any moment, hence the short tether. Finally, this showed another side to Bowman. He can be really tough when sentencing rolls around.

Dec. 1, 2017

Visduh, thank you.
One does wonder how Roberto Flores will do in prison. He expresses such hatred for police officers, and was so disrespectful of Honorable judge Blaine Bowman throughout trial. And he was disrespectful to his own attorney, too. Don't know how the prison staff handle this sort of thing.

Dec. 1, 2017

He will join one of the Hispanic prison gangs. He will be a "hero" for trying to kill a police officer. He will be the first one to "make his bones" by "taking out" a guard or other prisoner.

Dec. 3, 2017

Alex, he might want to do that, but the guards have ways of keeping those guys under control. They do it because they don't like cop killers or those who tried to kill cops. He'll get harsh treatment.

Dec. 4, 2017
This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.
April 13, 2019

A California appeals court has granted Roberto Flores a new trial. The current calendared date for a new jury trial is March 29, 2021. This re-trial is set to be in San Diego's North County Superior Courthouse in Vista, in department 21.

March 12, 2021
This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.
March 13, 2021

On Wednesday, May 26, 2021, defendant Roberto Ignacio Flores, now 30 years old, appeared by video monitor in San Diego’s North County superior courthouse. Flores is currently held in the George Bailey detention facility. The audio of the six-minute hearing was broadcast live on YouTube, there was no visual, and the audio is not saved online.

Through his attorney, the defendant continued to object that he appeared by remote video-monitor, Flores wants to appear in person. He demanded a PC1382 motion, this asks for his case to be dismissed because he has been denied a speedy trial. “I object to the late trial date,” Flores said, “I want my constitutional rights, I demand my right to a speedy trial!”

Honorable judge Carlos Armour began to sympathize with the defendant, “Mister Flores, I don’t blame you, I mean, you have been in there awhile.” The judge noted that all courts have been shutdown during the virus scare in California, and there are a huge number of cases backlogged, the judge said, “There is about another thousand people, in the same situation.”

Flores repeated his past behavior, he spoke over the judge, and demanded, “Can I have that in writing?”

The judge noted the defendant’s objections in the record, he said they are “preserved.” And the next court date for Roberto Flores was set for June 23, it is unclear if his new jury trial is expected to begin on that date.

May 27, 2021

Roberto Ignacio Flores, 30, is currently set to begin his new trial on Wednesday, June 23, 2021. His case might first be called in Dept 5, or in Dept 21, there are conflicting calendars online. Flores wants to act as his own attorney, but it appears he is assisted by attorney John Wilschke, who is most familiar with his case.

June 19, 2021

Roberto Ignacio Flores, 30, appeared in San Diego’s North County Superior courthouse in Vista today, June 23, 2021. He continues trying to act as his own attorney, while defense attorney John Wilschke is assisting by filing motions for example. Flores asked the judge to dismiss his case, because he did not get a “speedy trial” during the COVID lockdown. Jury selection was set to begin August 2, although Flores tried to reject that date. Honorable judge Carlos Armour will hear Roberto Flores argue his own motions in the Vista courthouse at 9 a.m. on Monday, June 28, 2021.

June 23, 2021

One point not covered in this thread is WHY the appeals court granted a new trial. Bowman is a tough sentence judge, and he also seems to make rulings that avoid reversal of trial results. What happened, Eva?

June 23, 2021

Roberto Flores wanted to use the defense strategy of denying that he was driving that car. His defense attorney preferred the defense strategy that Roberto did not INTENTIONALLY strike the cop with his car. The appeals court wants to give Roberto the chance to present his own strategy of defense, even if it appears hopeless to his attorney. You know I am para-phrasing here.

June 23, 2021

Thanks for the clarification.

June 23, 2021

During a one-hour hearing this morning, Monday July 12, 2021, the attorney for Roberto Flores asked a judge to dismiss this case, since Flores has been denied a speedy trial during the COVID lockdown. After the judge tentatively denied this request, Flores spoke up and demanded a “thirty day stay” so he could file a writ. Flores also tried to get the judge to make a ruling on his federal rights, but his attorney whispered to him that they were not in a federal courtroom. The judge pointed out that he was not inclined to grant a thirty day delay since Flores has been demanding a speedy trial. Attorneys also expressed concerned that certain eyewitnesses, such as Toni and Holly, have been out of reach and have not yet been subpoenaed for this next trial. The officer that was struck and injured, and his wife, were in the courtroom gallery today, listening to the pre-trial argument. More pre-trial matters will be argued the last week of July, that Wednesday and Thursday and Friday, then jury selection is expected to begin on Monday, August 2.

July 12, 2021

Sign in to comment

Sign in

Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Drinks All Around — Bartenders' drink recipes Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town Letters — Our inbox [email protected] — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Outdoors — Weekly changes in flora and fauna Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Street Style — San Diego streets have style Surf Diego — Real stories from those braving the waves Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Your Week — Daily event picks
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
Close