By Jamie Leary
FORT COLLINS, Colo. (CBS4)– There was emotional testimony at the Tanner Flores murder trial, the 19-year-old Berthoud teen accused of intentionally killing his ex-girlfriend, Ashley Doolittle.
Flores faces first-degree murder and kidnapping charges in the death of Doolittle, 18. Doolittle’s mother reported her missing on June 9, 2016. Police have said the Doolittle was killed after she and Flores broke up.
There is no question that Flores caused Doolittle’s death. What the 14-member jury must decide is if it was premeditated and if his mental state of mind at the time should factor into culpability.
Flores’ mental state of mind is central to the defense’s argument. They claim that he was “18, confused and hurting.” They say he had no plan, and acted “irrationally, impulsively and hastily.”
His attorney walked away from the podium while addressing the jury and stood next to Flores and said, “This was the love his life. Here right now, she is still the love of his life.”
Ashley’s mother was the first called to testify. The prosecution asked her firstly how many children she had and who they were. She broke down when talking about Ashley.
A mutual friend of Tanner and Ashley was the second to testify. She was one of several friends to witness the couple fighting in the days leading up to her death.
The prosecution painted Flores as a jealous and controlling boyfriend. They believe it was premeditated based on the fact that he shot Ashley three times. They pointed out they he made the choice to pull the hammer back three times.
Prosecutors say she would have likely survived had he sought medical attention. Instead, they said he drove nearly 300 miles to his grandfather’s home, with Doolittle in the passenger seat struggling to live.
The trial is scheduled to last for 10 days.
The mission of the Ashley Doolittle Foundation is to give back to her community.
Jamie Leary joined the CBS4 team in 2015 and currently works as a reporter for CBS4 News at 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. She couldn’t imagine a better place to live and work and will stop at nothing to find the next great story. Jamie loves learning about and hearing from her fellow community members, so connect with her on Facebook or Twitter @JamieALeary.