Judge declares a mistrial in Flores case; Nowthen man accused of criminal vehicular homicide in death of Suzannah Van De Walker

The Feb. 24 crash scene.
The Feb. 24 crash scene.

by Jim Boyle


Judge Thomas D. Hayes has declared a mistrial in the case against Carlos Molina Flores, who was charged in Sherburne County 10th District Court with criminal vehicular homicide in the Feb. 24 death of death of Suzanah Van De Walker, a 27-year-old St. Francis woman.

A Sherburne County jury reported shortly before 4 p.m. on Nov. 21 that after more than two full days of deliberation they were deadlocked.

The trial started Nov. 18. The jury, which was sequestered, began deliberating at about 4 p.m. on Nov. 19.

There will be a second trial in this case.  The new date will be finalized sometime next week, according to a spokesperson for the prosecution.

The 42-year-old Nowthen man is accused of operating his 2008 Dodge Ram pick-up in a negligent manner under the influence of alcohol, according to a criminal complaint filed Feb. 26.

Elk River Police and Fire were dispatched to the 10100 block of Twin Lakes Road at 1:26 a.m.  on Sunday, Feb. 24 for a report of a serious motor vehicle crash.

Van De Walker was pronounced dead at the scene.

Accident reconstructionist Mike Sieg of the Sherburne County Sheriff’s Department determined that the pickup had been travelling southbound and the St. Francis woman had been travelling northbound when Flores truck crossed the center line of the road  and collided with the Grand Prix..

Flores was charged with two counts of the criminal vehicular homicide. One is a felony for operating it with negligence and under the influence of alcohol. The second count is a gross misdemeanor for having an alcohol concentration of more than .08 within two hours of driving.

Each carries with it a potential 10 years in prison and or a $20,000 fine. Flores is being held in Sherburne County Jail.

Chief Deputy County Attorney Samuel Wertheimer prosecuted the case.

Michael Berger was the defense attorney for Flores.