Boudreax, Flores sentenced to 180 days, fines and probation
MANTI —As the Fullwood double-murder cases continue to tick down to an end, Allison Boudreaux and Damian Flores, secondarily connected to the incidents surrounding the murders, were sentenced last week in Manti.
Prosecutor and Sanpete County Attorney Brody Keisel urged 6th District Court Judge Wallace A. Lee to send both defendants to prison during sentencing hearings on Wednesday, April 12.
“I feel a lot of pressure today, because of magnitude of the crime,” Lee said prior to sentencing Boudreaux.
However, the judge felt that neither defendant should go to prison. He ordered both of them to serve 180 days in jail, though he also ordered credit for time served for Boudreaux, who had already served 227 days, thus eliminating any further time of confinement for her.
Lee also sentenced them to 36 months of probation, and fines of $1,024 for Boudreaux, and $950 for Flores, who is Boudreaux’s son.
Prior to the hearing, Boudreaux had entered guilty pleas to 2nd-degree felony burglary and obstruction of justice charges, each of which carried possible penalties of up to 15 years in prison.
At the sentencing hearing, Keisel admitted, “She has redeeming qualities.” She had agreed to testify against McFarland, aiding the state’s case against him. And she had kept herself in counseling and the drug court program—which Keisel himself would had to have recommended—to address her addiction issues
“But,” he said, “she still has a criminal mindset.” She at first did not tell the truth to investigators. When she finally did, Keisel characterized her as having minimized her role in the crime. Keisel said she was connected not only to the Fullwood incident, but also in a previous burglary in which he believed McFarland stole the weapon he used to murder the Fullwoods.
A visibly shaken and at times sobbing Boudreaux stood at the podium with her attorney, Andrew Berry, who countered Keisel’s arguments.
He said her cooperation, if slow at first, was nevertheless not simply helpful, but “instrumental in convicting McFarland. Boudreaux had finished her GED, started attending church, had gotten off drugs and for three years had stayed off them.
“If there was ever a successful turn-around, this is it,” Berry said.
Boudreaux, fighting back tears, addressed the court. “I’m very sorry what happened to that family. If I could take back that night, I’d do it in a second”
What she could do, in terms of cleaning up her own life in the six years since the murders, she said she has tried to do. “I’m doing so good, and I’m clean, and I want to stay that way.”
She finished by saying that going through drug court after she was arrested set her on the path of changing her life, and she gave Keisel credit for getting her into drug court. “I want to tell Brody Keisel thank you for saving my life.”
The judge said that he did not have a lot of sympathy for Boudreaux, because of her connection to the murder. But he also noted that she was not charged with the murder itself, and also that there was evidence the good things she had done since the crime.
“I’m not comfortable imposing prison in this case,” he said.
When Damian Flores came before the judge, Keisel once again urged the judge to sentence the McFarland co-defendant to prison.
“I feel compelled to repeat the same factors as with Allison Boudreaux because I feel so passionately about this case,” he said.
While Keisel did point out that Flores had a similar involvement in the crime as his mother, Boudreaux, Flores was different in one important way.
“As far as taking steps to control his addiction, he’s done nothing,” Keisel said.
In fact, Keisel told the court that Flores had tested positive for methamphetamine just the day before the sentencing hearing. Commenting on Flores’ apparent failure to keep away from drugs, he said, “You can at least flippin’ try.”
Noting the sentence that the judge had given Boudreaux, and the difference between her and Flores, he said, “[Its] good for some that try to get on their feet, but shame on those that don’t.”
Keisel urged the judge to send Flores to prison, saying “There has to be a consequence to be met.”
Flores’s attorney, David Angerhoffer agreed on that principal, but not its application.
“For justice to be served, there has to be punishment commensurate with the crime,” he said. He said that Flores, though connected to the incident was not as culpable as Boudreaux, not a “big fish” in this case, and should not be punished like one.
He pointed out that his client had not been convicted of any crimes since his arrest in this case (unlike Boudreaux, who had drug and alcohol related convictions) and had not been on any kind of supervision. Flores had tried to get into drug court himself, but according to Angerhofer there was no room for him.
When it was time for Flores to speak, he did so, slowly at first, but then gained momentum as if releasing emotions he had been holding back for a long time. He said he’s has spent the last five years trying to figure out what to say.
“It’s hard to acknowledge the hurt that I’ve caused.”
He said that he has not gotten in trouble while the case was pending; he worked and supported his mother. He had not tried to get counseling for his addiction because he had not been able to afford it. “I’m not the monster they make me out to be … I’m sorry for it all, I really am.”
Charlotte Stewart, daughter of the murder victims, also spoke at the hearing (the family had missed the earlier hearing through a misunderstanding about the time). She also urged the judge to sentence Flores to prison, saying of the county attorney, “Brody Keisel has stood by his commitment to us, to seek justice.”
Stewart pointed out that many of the items that were stolen were only souvenirs and not worth much monetarily. They were very valuable to the family, however. She also said that she and her family have walked past the defendants in their home town, and saw no remorse in them. “They didn’t pull the trigger, but they hurt us.”
Judge Lee addressed the victims’ family. “My heart aches for you. You can’t replace the lives that have been lost.