News

Murder trial set to start Jan. 8

A 21-year-old Navy petty officer accused of murdering an infant at his Oak Harbor home a year ago will go on trial Jan 8.

At hearing Dec. 21, Eric Flores’ attorney told Island County Superior Court Judge Vickie Churchill that the defense is ready. Flores has been charged with second-degree murder of a child and second-degree criminal mistreatment in the death of his wife’s six-week-old baby.

The infant, named Aeriq Flores-Ortero, was found dead in the morning of Dec. 26, 2000, by a couple who were babysitting the child. Flores had told the couple that Aeriq, who seemed sick, had a cold.

County Coroner Robert Bishop, however, found that the baby died from a traumatic injury to the brain. He concluded that the death was a homicide.

Flores later told detectives that the baby fell off a bed while he was in the shower, but he didn’t tell the babysitters about the fall.

Flores is an aviation electronics tech with VP-46. If convicted of the murder charge, he could face more than 18 years in prison.

You can reach News-Times reporter Jessie Stensland at jstensland@whidbeynewstimes.com or call 675-6611.

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