Trial dates set for murder suspect Tanner Flores
By Amber McIver-Traywick
Dates have been set for the trial of Tanner Flores, the Berthoud teen accused of first-degree murder and second-degree kidnapping in the disappearance and shooting death of 18-year-old Ashley Doolittle in June of last year.
Flores, 19, appeared in custody before Eighth Judicial District Judge Gregory Lammons on May 19 where the 10-day trial was scheduled to begin Sept. 25. A pretrial hearing will occur a week prior to the jury trial beginning in order to facilitate fair and expeditious proceedings.
Additionally, a motions hearing is scheduled for Aug. 24. This hearing will determine what evidence is allowed to be presented to the jury during the trial. At least one witness is expected to testify at this hearing according to Deputy District Attorney Daniel McDonald.
Flores pleaded not guilty to the charges at an arraignment hearing held in February this year. Flores’ attorney, Daniel Jasinski, also filed a motion requesting his client’s mental health be evaluated prior to a trial.
Flores was arrested June 10 of last year by Mesa County Sheriff’s deputies in Collbran, Colo., on his deceased grandfather’s property where Doolittle’s body was found wrapped in a blanket in the cab of Flores’ 1999 Dodge truck. Flores allegedly shot Doolittle multiple times in the head near Carter Lake in Larimer County before driving to the property where he was apprehended.
At the hearing earlier in the year prosecutors played video clips of Flores’ initial interview with Investigator Danny Norris of the Mesa County Sheriff’s Office. In the clips Flores initially claimed Doolittle grabbed the gun and pointed it at herself. After being questioned further Flores admitted he shot her twice in the back of the head and a third and final shot when she didn’t immediately die.
Doolittle had recently ended a year-long relationship with Flores, who was reportedly “distraught” over the breakup.
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