A convicted felon pleaded guilty Wednesday to fatally stabbing a senior citizen more than three years ago who had kicked the defendant out of his Palm Springs home, and leading police on a high-speed chase in the victim’s car.
Jonathan Alan Flora’s plea to murder and nine other felonies was to the court and not as part of a deal with prosecutors, according to John Hall, the public information officer for the Riverside County District Attorney’s Office.
Flora, 33, killed 75-year-old Henry Marshall at his home at 2290 Park Drive on May 16, 2017. Flora was arrested hours after police discovered Marshall’s body with multiple stab wounds to his head, face and body, which was floating face down in his swimming pool, according to a declaration in support of an arrest warrant.
Police found a blood trail leading from the living room, through the patio and to the pool.
Flora was found in possession of Marshall’s car, cell phone, driver’s license and credit cards when he was arrested after leading Palm Springs police on a pursuit the same day the victim’s body was found, according to court documents.
Flora was wearing bloodied clothes, had a “significant cut on one finger” and was in possession of a black glove, which matched a glove found inside Marshall’s home, the papers say.
Flora told a passenger in the car that he had cut himself “because he had killed someone,” according to the declaration, which also alleges that Marshall’s neighbors told police they saw Flora crawling out of a window of the victim’s home on the night before the discovery of his body.
Flora was also accused of calling someone from Marshall’s phone and using Marshall’s credit card to buy vodka from a liquor store.
Though court documents don’t specify why Flora was kicked out of Marshall’s home or how long he had stayed there, a report taken in February indicates Flora grabbed Marshall by the neck and pressed a knife against him.
Flora was previously convicted of burglarizing the Park Drive home in 2009, though police and prosecutors have not disclosed whether Marshall was the homeowner at that time.
Flora was spotted at 1:17 p.m. May 16, 2017, driving a vehicle southbound on Palm Canyon Drive with four passengers and refused to pull over for police, triggering a chase, police said.
Flora reached speeds of 90 mph on Palm Canyon Drive before driving onto the Agua Caliente Indian Reservation, where the vehicle came to a rest near the trading post, police said.
All four occupants of the vehicle were detained on the reservation, police said. The passengers were released after being interviewed, and Flora was initially booked on suspicion of violating parole.
Flora also admitted to Wednesday to four counts each of kidnapping and false imprisonment and one count of evading arrest. He could face a maximum life sentence when he is sentenced on Oct. 2 at the Larson Justice Center in Indio.
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 is being held at the Robert Presley Detention Center in Riverside without bail.
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