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Man agrees to plea deal in Des Moines slaying case

Published: Wednesday, July 10, 2013 12:15 p.m. CST

DES MOINES (AP) — A man accused of killing a Des Moines businesswoman nearly 20 years ago agreed Tuesday to a plea deal that stopped his second trial in the case.

David Flores agreed to an Alford Plea in the death of businesswoman Phyllis Davis, The Des Moines Register reported. It means Flores, 36, doesn’t admit to the act but he acknowledges there is enough evidence to convict him.

Brandon Brown, Flores’ attorney, told the newspaper he expects Flores to be released when he is later sentenced because of time already served. Brown said his client maintains his innocence.

“I did not participate in the shootout. ... I’m innocent,” Flores read in a statement Tuesday.

Flores was convicted of killing Davis during a rolling gunbattle between rival gangs in 1996. Prosecutors say Davis was driving home from work when her car was struck by crossfire. Flores became a suspect based on circumstantial evidence, including the vehicle he was driving on the day of the shooting, a spent bullet recovered from his home and comments from his girlfriend that implicated him.

Flores was granted a new trial in 2009 based on additional evidence and testimony that pointed to a gang member who is now dead. Des Moines police later acknowledged that they did not show defense attorneys an FBI report that pointed to the deceased gang member as a suspect.

Flores was free for about 15 months when his bondsman revoked his bail in May. Flores also had complained earlier this year of police pulling him over at least 14 times since he left prison. His second trial had started Monday.

The deal Tuesday was the third presented by prosecutors in a matter of days and required no extra prison time. Diane Flores, David Flores’ mother, expressed guarded relief about the developments because she maintains her son is innocent.

“It’s up to David. He’s the one who served 15 ½ years,” Diane Flores said about the deal.