Cops don’t know where fugitive murder suspect holed up

jkovac@macon.comMarch 4, 2014 

  • Jasento Lachun Flowers Sr. had his first court appearance on charges stemming from the killing of his estranged wife.

Jasento L. Flowers Sr. may have sensed the cops closing in.

They’d been hunting him night and day for nearly a week and a half.

His family was worried sick. One of his sisters couldn’t sleep, with him on the run.

Flowers, wanted in the Feb. 22 handgun slaying of his estranged wife, Bridgette M. Flowers, 38, and the shooting of two east Macon teens, turned himself in before daybreak Tuesday at the Bibb County jail.

About 2 a.m., Flowers, 43, walked in the lockup’s back door along Hawthorne Street and apparently told a deputy behind a window why he was there.

What no one seems to know is where he had come from, where he’d been.

There was speculation he might have fled to northern Florida. He’d once lived there with relatives.

“I can’t tell you 100 percent where he was, but we did have some people who were helping us,” said John Edgar, a deputy U.S. marshal with the Southeast Regional Fugitive Task Force. “But we never had a good, firm address for him.”

Even so, on Tuesday afternoon Edgar said, “I was hoping we were going to have him caught today.”

Edgar said fugitives tend to avoid kin, that invariably they reach out to acquaintances, girlfriends, preferably ones miles away from where their alleged crimes happened.

It doesn’t appear Flowers, said to be a womanizer, holed up with a love interest.

“He probably reached out to some associates that took him in,” Edgar said. “The associates may not have known that he was wanted.”

He said Flowers’ family was concerned for his safety as days passed and Flowers remained at large.

“When you get stressed out like that, you’re not real stable, so that’s what they were worried about,” Edgar said. “I guess his conscience got the best of him.”

‘Always had plenty women’

Bridgette Flowers was buried Saturday.

She was a mother figure to Jamesia Williams.

Williams, 18, who lived with her, was shot in the right leg when Jasento Flowers allegedly cruised past their apartment on Maynard Street and opened fire Feb. 22.

Bridgette Flowers had been fatally shot minutes earlier at the wheel of her minivan when she dropped someone off on Trinity Place, the street where her estranged husband lived.

Investigative accounts have said Jasento Flowers shot her in the head and kept firing as people in the van drove away toward Emery Highway and her house on Maynard, roughly half a mile to the west.

“We’re kind of relieved, happy” that he is off the streets, Williams said Tuesday.

Had Jasento Flowers not turned himself in or been caught, his youngest sister was considering writing him an open letter and sending it to The Telegraph.

Regina Flowers, 42, was glad her brother turned himself in.

“Because if he did it, he needs to pay for what he done. ... If he wouldn’t have turned his self in -- if I would have knew where he was -- I would have turned him in,” she said.

With her brother on the lam, she said, “he just had us so scared.”

Regina Flowers can’t understand how he could have lashed out and done what he is accused of doing. When she heard he was wanted for murder, she told her daughter, “Girl, go on and stop playing. Who Sento gonna kill?”

“I still can’t accept the fact that my sister-in-law gone,” Regina Flowers said.

She said she didn’t have a clue where her brother may have hidden.

“If you know the authorities looking for you ... ain’t no need in you running,” she said. “Because if you ain’t guilty, you look guilty by running.”

Asked how he might have laid low, Regina Flowers could only guess.

“We from the country,” she said. “We used to camp out and all kinds of stuff when we were kids. ... Ain’t no telling.”

Relatives say Jasento and Bridgette Flowers, together for about eight years, had split up in recent weeks. The relatives say the slain woman was fed up with him cheating on her.

Regina Flowers says her chubby, 5-foot-7 brother “always had plenty women. I can’t lie to you. I call him a whore. ... Ladies liked that little-bitty short man.”

On Valentine’s Day, Jasento Flowers was jailed for allegedly punching his wife and knocking her out in an eastside Wal-Mart.

Regina Flowers says she spoke to Bridgette Flowers afterward and asked, “What you gonna do? You gonna press charges?”

Regina Flowers says her sister-in-law replied, “No, I ain’t gonna press no charges. ... I love my husband.”

“And he loved her, too,” Regina Flowers added. “But he’s ... just a whorish man. ... But otherwise he loved his wife.”

Less than a week after Jasento Flowers was bailed out of jail for the alleged Wal-Mart incident, Bridgette Flowers was dead.

‘The right thing to do’

Jasento Flowers’ lawyer said he had no idea where his client went in the days after the shooting.

But about 12 hours after Flowers surrendered, Flowers and attorney Franklin J. Hogue shook hands and stood side by side in a jailhouse courtroom.

Flowers’ family first contacted Hogue on Monday, Hogue explained later, and then called again after Flowers turned himself in.

Flowers, charged with murder, three counts of aggravated assault and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, didn’t speak at his less-than-two-minute-long Bibb County Magistrate Court hearing.

On Flowers’ behalf, Hogue requested and was granted a March 18 commitment hearing, where deputies are expected to testify about why Flowers was arrested.

After Tuesday’s hearing, Hogue spoke of Flowers’ decision to turn himself in.

“He knew there were warrants for his arrest,” Hogue said. “And that’s the right thing to do unless you want to live your life as a fugitive.”

Flowers’ son, Jasento L. Flowers Jr., was arrested soon after the killing and charged with tampering with evidence at the scene on Trinity Place.

A day later, the senior Flowers’ decade-old, black BMW 740i turned up at a relative’s house.

After that, his trail went cold.

Writers Amy Leigh Womack and Liz Fabian contributed to this report. To contact writer Joe Kovac Jr., call 744-4397.

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