San Bernardino woman vows to keep sister’s murderer behind bars

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Photo/Anthony Victoria: Marilyn Necochea is asking that Jonathan Guerrera-Flores, currently behind bars at the Deuel Vocational Institution in Tracy, not be granted an early release for the first degree murder of her younger sister, Michele Renee Flores--who was married to Jonathan

For Marilyn Necochea, 53, of San Bernardino, the internal wounds of her sister’s murder are still fresh. The thought of her killer’s possible parole has filled her with indignation. With the help of the National Organization of Parents of Murdered Children (POMC), Necochea is asking that Jonathan Guerrera-Flores, currently behind bars at the Deuel Vocational Institution in Tracy, not be granted an early release for the first degree murder of her younger sister, Michele Renee Flores–who was married to Jonathan.

“If I don’t do something now, that man will walk out of prison,” said Necochea. “I don’t think he deserves to. He took my little sister’s life just because she didn’t want to be with him anymore. She did not deserve to die the way she did.”

Necochea has submitted a request to the POMC to participate in their Parole Block program, which allows the families of murder victims to fight against the potential parole of murderers. According to Inland Empire chapter leader Agnes Gibboney, the organization will write and circulate petitions to prevent the possible parole or early release of those convicted of murder. Parole boards also receive letters from the family on why they object to the individual’s release.

“By my past experiences in parole hearings, they [inmates] never get released on the first attempt,” Gibboney said. “I suggest the family write powerful letters to have a greater impact on the parole board. This will be a very emotional time for the family.”

Guerrera-Flores’ parole hearing is scheduled for November of this year.

Michele’s story and her experiences with abuse

‘Mickey’, the nickname given to Michele by close friends and family, is remembered as a sweet, caring, and kindhearted individual.

She was an athlete that played softball at Cajon High School, where she graduated in 1988, and later became a medical assistant at the Arrowhead Regional Medical Center. Flores’ sister said their mother, Ruth Esquivias, described Mickey as a ‘go getter’ who was loved by the residents of the community.

“We knew she would be there for us,” Necochea said of her sibling. “She would give the shirt off her back if she could. Everyone she spoke to loved her. She touched many of us.”

The family lived next to Guerrera Flores, near Lytle Creek Park for many years. According to Necochea, Michele and Jonathan first met when they were young kids. They became involved in a romantic relationship some time around Michele’s sixteenth birthday.

“Jonathan was in the Navy around the time they began seeing each other,” Necochea recalls. “While she dated him she got pregnant. In fact, she graduated while being pregnant with their first child.”

As claimed by Necochea, it was a situation that encouraged Mickey’s parents to convince her to marry Guerrera-Flores. It’s something she said she’d never approve of.

Courtesy Photo: Michele Renee Flores was last seen at the Arrowhead Credit Union on 4th Street and Sierra Way in San Bernardino on July 15, 1996. She was found dead two days later in the trunk of her Chevrolet Corsica in Tijuana, Mexico.
Courtesy Photo: Michele Renee Flores was last seen at the Arrowhead Credit Union on 4th Street and Sierra Way in San Bernardino on July 15, 1996. She was found dead two days later in the trunk of her Chevrolet Corsica in Tijuana, Mexico.

“I didn’t attend because of the abuse she was suffering from him,” explained Necochea. “The relationship was always one of mental, physical, and verbal abuse. He would force himself on her. But my parents wanted the best for her and they believed that was marriage, even though they never thought much of him. I’m sure my mom regretted it.”

After the births of their two children, Jonathan Jr. (born 1988) and Jason (born 1990), the abuse became worse. After years of mistreatment, Michele sought a separation from her husband in February 1996. A month later, Guerrera-Flores threw Michele to the floor, choked her, and threatened to kill her, according to a story on the case published by the San Bernardino Sun on July 27, 1996. He was arrested for spousal abuse and given a three-year probation sentence that he later violated when he attacked Michele again in April 1996.

Guerrera-Flores faced a lengthy jail sentence as a result of his abuse and threats in May of that year. Michele stood on the witness stand during his trial with the chance to ensure her own safety, according to the same Sun article. Instead, she recanted her statements, and Guerrera-Flores was released days later. Necochea, in tears, said it is something that always stays with her.

“I remember one of her co-workers explaining to me that she made this statement to them at work days before her disappearance: ‘Tuesday (July 16) is our anniversary. I wonder if John is going to kill me.’” – Marilyn Necochea on her sister Michele.

 

The crime and its results

On July 15, 1996, according to a San Bernardino Police Department report Flores, 25, left her residence at 937 Western Avenue around 11:30 a.m. and headed to the Arrowhead Credit Union (known then as the San Bernardino Credit Union) on 4th Street and Sierra Way to withdrawal money to purchase groceries to feed her two young boys. Surveillance cameras at the ATM machines caught what were possibly the final moments of her life.

According to a San Bernardino Sun report from July 19, 1996, Michele never made the withdrawal and never returned home. She was last seen wearing blue Levi’s shorts and a charcoal gray top.

“She never went into work,” said Necochea. “All of us–friends and family–became concerned and began to pass out fliers.”

Courtesy Photo: Jonathan Guerrera Flores.
Courtesy Photo: Jonathan Guerrera Flores.

Three days later on July 18, she was found dead in the trunk of her maroon Chevrolet Corsica in Tijuana, Mexico. Coroner’s photos showed her body with multiple lacerations on her chest, arms, neck, and head.

“I had to go identify the body,” Necochea said. “It was the only way they could move forward in the investigation.”

Guerrera-Flores, now 48, was arrested a week later near the U.S.-Mexican border in El Paso, by Texas authorities after learning he had stolen a car in Pomona. He was flown back to California to stand trial. His father, Frank Flores, was also arrested and charged with accessory to murder. Both men spent a year and a half in county jail, before being sentenced by the San Bernardino County Superior Court. The latter was given a jail sentence of approximately five months, with three years probation. The former was sentenced to 25- years-to-life in state prison. He was admitted by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) on January 8, 1998.

The aftermath

Jason Flores, now 25, said during an interview on January 23 that he retains the memories of his early childhood. He does not recount the severity of his parent’s situation.

Nonetheless he said he remembers the morning of Michele’s disappearance on July 15, 1996; he was six years old at the time.

“I remember wanting to go with her,” he explained. “I threw a fit and began to cry because she didn’t take us with her. I also remember going swimming with my dad that day.”

Jason said he had a good relationship with his father at an early age. They would play hide and go seek, basketball, and video games.

“He was a good father figure with my brother and I,” he said. He visited his father in prison until he was 15-years-old, and lost contact with him at 19, mainly due to personal issues.

“I stumbled across information about his case,” he said. “I didn’t really know what happened because no one in the family spoke about it. He told me it was an accident, and that he never meant to do it. I don’t hate him for it, but I think he’s a bad person for doing it.”

Jonathan Jr., 27, and now a father himself, said he remembers every detail of those gloomy days at eight years of age. He recalls having to stop his father from choking his mother.

“It’s hard to live with,” he said. “I’m in the middle. Both sides are being hurt by these days. If my dad is truly a changed man, he shouldn’t want to get out soon.”

The elder son said domestic violence is an issue that has deep wounds that could affect people for a very long time.

“It’s been 20 years and we still remember it like it was yesterday.”

 

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13 COMMENTS

  1. He was convicted of first degree murder, which obvioialy he planned it and he took his children’s mother away from them. Parole shouldn’t even be an option.

  2. No I feel like he should not be released he took the life of a beautiful mother who left behind her lil boys that is so sad

  3. I believe that Jonathan Flores should spend the rest of his life in in prison I am also a domestic violence survivor I wish there were stronger laws to keep abusers like Jonathan Flores in prison

  4. I was also affected by this and the two boys were my best friends growing up I often played with them because of us being neighbor’s. I was also unaware at the age of 9 but the memory still makes me cry like it was yesterday. Please keep Jonathan Flores behind bar’s.

  5. No he should not be he release . took not only my cousins life from us he lefted his children without there mother and I my self been in prison and don’t not wish for any one to be locked up but on this case I feel he should not be released for what he did I feel that all mudsrs behind domestic violence .and all child cases. And rape cases don’t deserve to be release

  6. No absolutely not, Jonathan Guerrera-Flores, should not get out of prison.I believe if you could murder the mother of your children, you are a sociopath or you just have no soul either way there’s no rehabilitation for that. Not only did he take her life he took her life in an up close and brutal fashion. For the sake of her family & friends who loved and miss Michele everyday , for the sake and safety of the comminity that he would be paroled back into, and for the sake of JUSTICE., do NOT release this murder.

  7. No absolutely not , Jonathan Guerrera .should not be let out of prison.I believe if you are capable of murdering the mother of your children you are either a sociopath or you have no soul, either way that’s not rehabilitateable. For the sake of “Micky’s”r family and friends who love her and miss her everyday, for the sake and safety of the community to which he will be paroled back into, and for the sake of JUSTICE do NOT release that murderer from prison.

  8. In my personal opinion…HELL NO he should NOT BE RELEASED from prison. He deserves to rot in there and the only way out for him is in a body bag when he is old and gray. A changed man?? First of all a real man does not put his hands on any woman especially his own wife. Heaven knows what has been going thru his mind while he has been incarcerated and God only knows that the devil can get into his head once again and somehow someway come out to harm his own kids only because they are reminders of their precious mother. He is scum and deserves to stay behind bars until he takes his last breath. He sure was not thinking of his wife when he was there choking her and her struggling to breath her last breath. GOD FORBID HE EVER GET OUT!!!!!

  9. Really? Are you kidding me? This family should not have to write letters to anyone – a life sentence should MEAN A LIFE SENTENCE!!!! My skin cringes just to think he left her in the trunk of her car in Mexico! Who the hell does that – a MURDERER with no conscience!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  10. LEAVE HIS ASS TO ROT! I PRAY THAT GOD AND THIS ORGANIZATION HELP U. SOMETIMES THERES A WAY AROUND THE LAW..FOR EXAMPLE—- MY HUSBAND’S FATHER WAS MURDERED BY MULTIPLE SHOT WOUNDS AND THEN RUN OVER BY HIS CAR. ALL THIS HAPPENED IN FRONT OF THE HOSPITAL WHERE THERE WAS A SECURITY AND SECURITY CAMERAS FILMING THE ENTIRE INDECENT. SECURITY DID NOTHING WHEN HE NOTICED AN ALTERCATION. THE MURDERER WAS ONLY SENTENCED TO 5-6 YEARS W/10YR PROBATION BECAUSE HE SAYS HE WAS ON DRUGS AND DIDN’T KNOW WHAT HE WAS DOING. BUT WITH GOOD BEHAVIOR HE WILL HAVE A CHANCE TO BE LET OUT SOONER. HE WAS ALREADY ON PROBATION FOR DRUG ABUSE POSSESSION OF DRUGS SELLING AND CARING. HE WAS A FELON WITH ALREADY MULTIPLE FELONIES AND ON PROBATION AND IN JUST A COUPLE ON YEARS HE WILL BE OUT LIKE NOTHING EVER HAPPENED….FUCKEN PIECE OF SHIT OREGON.

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