Saturday, September 25, 2010

Paroled rapist gets two life without parole sentences for rape, arson murder of sisters

A man who raped and burned to death two Northwest Indiana sisters was sentenced to life without parole Thursday, September 9, 2010. 36 year old David Alan Flores, a sex offender convicted of rape twice before, was sentenced by Lake Criminal Court Judge Thomas Stefaniak Jr for the burglary, rapes, and murders of two twenty something sisters, one of which had recently married.

Flores, 36, of Griffith, had faced the death penalty had the case gone to trial. He pleaded guilty Aug. 26 to two counts of murder and two counts of rape of Jennifer Evans, 28, of Griffith, and Kristen Evans-Kennedy, 25, of Chicago.

Acknowledging the family's wish to avoid reliving the horror of the sisters' deaths during perhaps 25 years of death penalty appeals, Stefaniak reluctantly accepted Flores' guilty plea for which he will serve two life sentences for murder and two 20-year sentences for rape.

Stefaniak said that if Flores had received the death penalty, there was a three-in-five chance that it would have been overturned on appeal. However, the judge made clear that Flores deserved such a punishment. "As I live my life and talk to people, this is just the case in a perfect world that would justify the death sentence. I could pronounce a death sentence. The fact of the matter is you, Mr. Flores, are the devil among us. There are no redeeming qualities that you have and there is nothing you can offer society," Stefaniak told the murderer.

Jennifer had bought a house on North Lindberg Street, and Flores happened to show up with a friend on Sept. 10, 2009, at a small gathering she hosted.

He went inside to use the bathroom, unlocked a window to the office across the hall, and returned after the women were in bed to rape, strangle and stab them. Before he left, he collected items he'd touched, then set fire to the home. The autopsies showed the women were alive when the fire was started.

Lake County Prosecutor Bernard Carter said that the family of the victims would have gone for the death penalty, but "They did not want in and out of court for the next 25 years.You have to listen to the family."

Family friend Sue Brownwell said that "Each was a force in her own right, and they were an unbeatable team together. They will live in our treasured memories."

Mary Ann Evans, comparing the murders of her daughters to 9-11, called the murders her "personal terrorist attack." Her husband and the victims' father Ron, a retired Munster firefighter, was the person who discovered his daughters' still burning bodies. "I watched him die the day he found Jen and Kristen. I am alone. I am the woman that everybody pities," she said. Ron died of cancer six months after the murder. A slideshow of them was played just before Flores' sentencing.
Mary Evans is working with legislators to ensure that repeat sex offenders like Flores can never be granted parole. Flores was on parole for another rape when he murdered the two young women.

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