David Flores is a free man. He walked out of the Polk County Jail around 1:10 Thursday afternoon.
Earlier in the day, a Polk County judge accepted the plea deal made between prosecutors and David Flores’ attorneys.
Flores had originally been convicted of first degree murder in the 1996 shooting death of Phyllis Davis.
In 2009, the Iowa Court of Appeals determined Flores deserved a re-trial after new evidence in the case was brought forward. The re-trial was underway with jury selection this week in Polk County, but Tuesday both sides in the case announced a plea deal had been reached.
The deal dropped the murder charge and Flores entered an Alford plea for amended charges of attempted murder, terrorism, and voluntary manslaughter. An Alford plea means Flores doesn’t admit guilt, but understands the evidence against him could likely lead to a conviction.
The sentencing guidelines in the plea deal called for a prison term not to exceed 35 years. The judge approved that term Thursday morning.
The Iowa Department of Corrections determined the time Flores spent behind bars for the original conviction, which was nearly 17 years, coupled with good behavior meant his discharge date on the amended charges would have been in October of 2012.
No one was more surprised about the turn of events than Flores himself.
He expected to come home later this month, not the same day.
“I figured it would be a week or two and when they told me to pack my stuff- probably an hour after I got to jail, I assumed they were just fast tracking me to Oakdale. Sergeant told me, ‘no you're going home.’ Thought he was playing with me at first,” Flores said in an interview with Channel 13 an hour after his release Thursday.
Watch the News at 10 for the full interview with David Flores.