Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo addresses investigation and dismissal in Josue Flores case
HOUSTON –Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo held a press conference Wednesday to discuss the ongoing homicide investigation and dismissal of charges in the Josue Flores case.
Senior prosecutors and other officials announced Tuesday that charges against Andre Timothy Jackson, 28, were dropped in the murder of 11-year-old Josue Flores pending his release from jail.
“We are dismissing the indictment as of today because as of yesterday we received DNA analysis which makes it impossible to go forward at this time with a case that we think we can prove beyond a reasonable doubt,” Berg said.
On Monday the test results of the DNA and blood analysis came back as inconclusive, which excludes Jackson as a suspect. Prosecutors waited for over a year to receive the DNA evidence in hopes that it would link Jackson to Flores’s murder.
“Rather than risk double jeopardy by trying to go to trial with a case where the evidence is too weak, it’s best to not pursue right now. If we did, we may risk our chances of ever being able to go after him or anyone else as we move forward,” said Berg.
Jackson was arrested at the Salvation Army on North Main Street and charged on June 6, 2016 for the stabbing of Flores.
According to police, Flores was walking home in the 1900 block of Fulton around 4:45 p.m. Tuesday May 17, 2016, when a man who was walking on the same sidewalk in the opposite direction suddenly began stabbing him.
Two witnesses heard the child screaming and then saw him collapse in the grass near the sidewalk as Jackson fled the scene. Officers in the area of Fulton and James Street were flagged down by citizens and rushed to help. Flores was taken to Memorial Hermann Hospital, where he died. Autopsy reports revealed that Flores was stabbed 20 times.
Jackson admitted to being in the area at the time and living at the Salvation Army Harbor Light Center after being discharged from the United States Marine Corps when he served in Iraq.
The Flores case sparked outrage throughout the local community, which led to various safe walk programs for students.
On June 9, Governor Greg Abbott signed Senate Bill 195. SB195, which sets aside funding for the transportation of Texas children who walk to and from school in high crime neighborhoods.
“We cleaned up a lot of street problems, we stopped a lot of drug activity, we made a lot things happen to help the students here” said Stella Mireles Walters from Safe Walk Home Northside. “This child’s life will not be taken in vain.”
Tuesday’s announcement to drop the charges against Jackson has opened old wounds inciting an outcry of emotions on social media.
Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo was one of many to voice his disbelief.
The community echoed Acevedo with similar posts.
@LifeisAJ said “The Josue Flores Story always makes me cry.” Another Tweet from @bitty_marie responded “It hurts me knowing that the man who murdered that innocent little boy <strong>Josue Flores</strong> is still out there somewhere.”