Crime

He tried to put off prison in baby kidnapping case for a third time. Judge didn’t buy excuses

Michael Flores of Fresno was sentenced Friday, Aug. 16, 2019 to five years in prison for the kidnapping of a baby from Selma. The baby belonged to Flores’ ex-girlfriend. Flores had successfully delayed sentencing twice before.
Michael Flores of Fresno was sentenced Friday, Aug. 16, 2019 to five years in prison for the kidnapping of a baby from Selma. The baby belonged to Flores’ ex-girlfriend. Flores had successfully delayed sentencing twice before. Fresno County Sheriff's Office

A Fresno man who was facing up to 11 years in prison for kidnapping a baby in Selma tried his best Friday to delay his sentencing for a third time.

Michael Flores, 30, told Judge Adolfo Corona that he had a letter from the baby’s mother that absolved him of the crime. He has claimed he has stage 4 cancer. And he made a last-minute request Friday to be represented by a private attorney instead of a court-appointed one.

Corona, who is known for his even-handed and thoughtful approach on the bench, wasn’t swayed, especially since court records show Flores does not have cancer and prosecutor John Tully doubted the truthfulness of the letter.

Corona sentenced Flores to five years in prison on a felony charge of kidnapping someone under the age of 14. The maximum sentence was 11 years.

Selma police said Flores took the child on Dec. 3, 2018, while visiting the baby’s mother, who is Flores’ ex-girlfriend. He told her he was going to get some food and took the baby with him, but never came back.

The mother called police around 4 p.m that day to report the kidnapping and police worked throughout the night to find Flores and the child. Police said Flores was trying to reconcile with the baby’s mother and was texting her throughout the kidnapping. Those texts gave police a way to track him down.

Around 9 a.m. the next day, Flores and his girlfriend at the time, Carmen Morales, 41, were found with the baby at the McDonald’s on Blackstone and Shields avenues in Fresno.

Morales was charged with kidnapping but the charges were later dismissed. Flores pleaded no contest to the kidnapping charge on May 20 and was due to be sentenced on June 18 and July 30, but both times sentencing delayed.

Prosecutor Tully fought against delaying the sentencing again, saying Flores was having “buyer’s remorse” about his decision to plead no contest, which is the equivalent to pleading guilty. Tully also questioned whether the baby’s mother was changing her story.

“The victim, to my knowledge, is still very upset,” Tully said. “She was at one of the hearings and expressed nothing but anger at what he did to her son.”

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