Man allegedly killed pregnant mistress
HURON -- The Huron man accused of killing his pregnant 20-year-old mistress made his first court appearance here Tuesday. Shannon Flowers, 42, appeared before Judge Jon Erickson Tuesday at the Beadle County Courthouse on two counts of murder in t...
HURON -- The Huron man accused of killing his pregnant 20-year-old mistress made his first court appearance here Tuesday.
Shannon Flowers, 42, appeared before Judge Jon Erickson Tuesday at the Beadle County Courthouse on two counts of murder in the first degree and an alternative charge of fetal homicide in the death of Brittney Chua and her unborn child. At the time of her death, Chua was a Woonsocket resident.
Clad in a black-and-white-striped jumpsuit, Flowers said nothing as Erickson informed him of his rights. Flowers did not respond to reporters' questions as he was escorted out of the building.
Erickson made no decision on bond for Flowers and set a preliminary hearing for 2:30 p.m. March 11.
It was the latest development in a case that began over the weekend in Huron, a town that has seen two homicides in the past 10 days.
Law enforcement officials said a person informed them that Flowers admitted to killing Chua at his place of employment at Earl's Alignment and burying her body in branches and debris at the city of Huron's grass clipping and leaf dumping site Thursday.
According to a Beadle County affidavit, the unidentified person was paid by Flowers to burn some of Chua's belongings and the pipe with which Flowers used to bludgeon her to death.
While the informant's name has not been released, Beadle County State's Attorney Michael Moore acknowledged that rumors about the person are rampant, including one that surfaced Tuesday that the informant had committed suicide. Moore on Tuesday said such rumors are completely "bogus."
While the informant's name eventually will be released, Moore said he will remain anonymous for a time to protect his identity.
"I don't want to make him the center of the case," Moore said.
Moore said that despite his role in the case, the informant has no immunity agreement with the department, and it's unlikely he will face any charges.
"I just don't think his conduct warrants prosecution," Moore said.
Tuesday, Huron Chief of Police Doug Schmitt said he believes Chua's pregnancy may have been a motive behind the murder. As of Tuesday, tests were still under way to determine the father of the unborn child.
"I don't think drugs and alcohol were part of this equation," Schmitt said. "I think the motivating factor here is the pregnancy."
It is unknown if Chua had a criminal record, but Flowers' lawyer, Jeff Burns, told Judge Erickson that Flowers' record is otherwise clean.
In the other homicide to occur in Huron in recent weeks, Christopher Martin Aguayo has been charged with the Feb. 22 death of Richard Bosque-Gonzalez. Police reports state Bosque-Gonzalez was trying to persuade Aguayo not to kill himself when Aguayo shot him.
The deaths have had a "detrimental" effect on the community, Schmitt said, but he doesn't believe the "community has any issues to be concerned about. We consider this a rare occurrence."
"In both situations, the assailant and the victim knew each other, so it was not a random act of violence against someone else," Schmitt said. "Nobody likes to see these types of crimes occur and we can only go forward hoping that this doesn't occur again."