Alfred Flores guilty in head-shot murder thanks in part to his chewing gum

The little things often prevent a murderer from getting away with his crime, as Alfred Flores understands all too well. As we noted in a November 2012 post, one of the key bits of evidence implicating him in the slaying of 27-year-old Manuel Martinez was a piece of chewing gum.

Now, Flores has pleaded guilty in the brutal crime. Continue to learn about his sentence and what he did to earn it below.

When we posted about the 47 Denver homicides in 2011, we were unable to include a Google map showing where Martinez died the previous November, since the Denver coroner's office didn't list a location. However, an arrest affidavit for Flores, included below in its entirety, provides much more information about the crime, which we originally detailed as follows.

Police were called to a parking lot of Grant Frontier Park, at 2200 South Platte River Drive, at about 7 a.m. on November 27, 2011, the report points out. There, they found a man later identified as Martinez. He was lying face down in a pool of blood with what proved to be a gunshot sound to his head. Also nearby was a piece of gum, which was taken into evidence for testing at the Denver Police Department crime lab.

Shortly thereafter, investigators chatted with Martinez's mom, who said her son and his girlfriend, Felicia Casillas, had been drinking at her home on the evening of November 26 before heading to the home they shared.

Casillas subsequently revealed that Martinez had later gotten a call from a woman he knew, Yolanda Arze-Beltran, who said it was her birthday and she wanted to meet for a drink. Casillas didn't like that idea much, in part because she knew Martinez had supplied Arze-Beltran with methamphetamine, for which she allegedly owed him $10,000. But he left anyhow -- and never returned.

Before long, police tracked down Arze-Beltran, who told officers she'd rendezvoused with Martinez at Brewski's, a bar on 104th Avenue, in the company of two other people -- Clarence Sims and Alfred Flores, nicknamed Parrot or Perrico. She claimed the four of them hung out at the home of Michael McCruden, a Lakewood resident known as Mechanic Mike, until the early morning hours, when Martinez and Flores left in her red Acura.

What happened to the car? Turns out it had been impounded by the Jefferson County Sheriff's Department after being abandoned on Highway 6 following what appeared to be a car fire. Despite the destruction, however, a number of items were found inside, including cell phones and a plastic bag of burnt clothing. They were submitted for DNA testing -- along with that gum.

By the way, the clothing is said to have been consistent with garb worn by Flores, Sims and Arze-Beltran in surveillance footage from Brewski's.

Cut to the summer of 2012, when an individual whose name is blotted out in the file sat for a pair of interviews with detectives. During the sessions, the source contended that Flores killed Martinez.

Why? Another unidentified witness subsequently recounted a story he said had been shared with him by Flores -- a tale that matched the broad outlines of the initial source's account even as it provided a motive for the brutal crime.

Continue to read more about Alfred Flores's guilty plea for murder and see the arrest affidavit. On the evening in question, Flores and Martinez were said to have been playing pool when the latter "started talking smack and bragging" -- which might not have been an insurmountable problem had Martinez not allegedly announced during a drive near Santa Fe and 3rd that "he was fucking Marquise," Flores's girlfriend

At that point, the informant went on, Flores allegedly asked Arze-Beltran for his gun and shot Martinez in the head while the Acura was in the middle of the intersection. Afterward, the narrative maintains that Flores and company changed their clothes and burned what they were wearing along with the car itself.

"That's how they do it in California," Flores allegedly told him.

Yet another source who claims to have spoken with Flores says that after the killing, he took Martinez's money -- $6,000, according to Casillas -- and Arze-Beltran grabbed his drugs before dumping the body off South Platte River Drive.

These witnesses provided authorities with plenty of evidence against Flores. But the lab techs offered one more bit of assistance. In October 2012, they confirmed that DNA on the gum matched Flores.

The following month, Flores was taken into custody and was held without bond on a single count of first-degree murder. In the end, however, he apparently negotiated a modestly less serious offense. The Denver District Attorney's Office notes that last week he pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and was sentenced to thirty years in prison.

Look below to see a larger version of Flores's booking photo, followed by the aforementioned arrest affidavit.

Alfred Flores Arrest Affidavit

Send your story tips to the author, Michael Roberts.

More from our Mile High Murder archive: "47 Denver homicides in 2011: See where they happened."

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts