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Who is Robert Flores? What we know about the man involved in the Econo Lodge standoff

IDAHO FALLS, Idaho (KIFI) - Robert Flores, Jr. is the man who was arrested at the EconoLodge earlier this week. He is now facing six counts of aggravated assault on law enforcement officers and one count of unlawful possession of a firearm for Monday's incident. Flores has been involved in three standoffs in just over four months.

Jessica Clements, the Idaho Falls Police Public Information Officer, said the standoff on April 8 differed from the last two because this time officers did not intend to arrest Flores. They were simply trying to enforce an eviction from the hotel. However, the situation escalated after repeated verbal commands were ignored.

According to the press release detailing the stand off, "Officers took extra precautions including bringing a ballistic shield to the room and responding with multiple officers." This response was based on past experience with Flores.

This is not new behavior according to Chad Christensen, a former parole officer over Flores.

"Back then in '06, he already had a long record. He had been involved in a murder in Blackfoot. He was on parole for aggravated assault, meth charges, delivery charges, and other violent crimes on his record," Christensen said.

He recalls being threatened by Flores for pursuing him after violating parole. Christensen says little has changed since their last exchange nearly two decades ago.

"I just viewed Flores as a very high risk to the community which he was, and so I was very aggressive in getting him off the streets for sure," he said.

Why was Flores able to bond out? It's complicated

Randy Neal, Bonneville County Prosecuting Attorney, says bond amounts are typically set at an amount high enough to deter defendants from getting out of jail before their next court date.

"In this case, there was an unexpected windfall that allowed the defendant to have money,” Neal said. “And then, we have an issue with bail bondsmen now who are potentially doing some kind of cut-rate percentages and working on payments for fees that are making individuals get these surety bonds with way too much ease. And, that's what happened here. We had kind of the perfect storm," he said.

Flores was previously able to post bond for $100,000. His bond is now set at $1 million. That's to ensure he does not harm the community while awaiting trial. Despite his record, Flores is innocent until proven guilty in this case.

"We don't want pretrial publicity to affect our ability to have a fair trial here in Bonneville County, Neal said. "But, the facts that are open to the public are those documents that have been filed so far that can kind of describe not only what happened, but also give a good timeline of how the bail worked in this particular point."

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Ashley Chilcutt

Ashley is a reporter and producer for Local News 8.


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