Crime

DA files murder charge against parolee connected to elderly man's death in Palm Springs

PALM SPRINGS, Calif. - A parolee taken in custody following a high-speed police chase  is facing murder and other charges in the stabbing death of a senior citizen found dead in his Palm Springs home, the District Attorney's Office confirmed Friday.

Prosecutors plan to file one count of murder, with a sentence-enhancing knife-use allegation, against 30-year-old Jonathan Flora, along with one count of felony evading and four counts each of kidnapping and false imprisonment, according to D.A.'s spokesman John Hall.

Officers with the Palm Springs Police Department said they were able to associate Flora to the homicide investigation following the high-speed chase. Investigators identified Flora as the suspect in the homicide through evidence and the Riverside County District Attorney's Gang Impact Team, according to the PSPD. 

That's when police submitted the formal investigation to the Riverside County District Attorney's Office requesting Flora be charged with murder and several other felony charges, according to Sgt. William Hutchinson. 


Flora was spotted at 1:17 p.m. Tuesday driving a vehicle on southbound Palm Canyon Drive with three passengers and refused to pull over, triggering a chase, police said.

Flora reached speeds of 90 mph on Palm Canyon before driving onto the Agua Caliente Indian Reservation, where the vehicle came to a rest near the trading post, police said.

Members of the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians fully cooperated with the PSPD,  and all four occupants of the vehicle were detained. The passengers were released after being interviewed, and Flora was initially
booked on suspicion of violating parole.

Along with the burglary conviction, Flora was convicted in 2012 of making criminal threats against a man identified only as ``Ivan Doe'' in court documents, which state that Flora threatened the victim with a ``fixed-blade
knife.''

Flora's arraignment was initially set for Thursday, but now it will take place sometime next week, according to the DA's office. KESQ News Channel 3 and CBS Local 2 will track the developments from court and deliver updates as soon as they're available. 


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