Cops: At-large murder suspect said, ‘I’m not going back to jail’

jkovac@macon.comMarch 18, 2014 


Jasento L. Flowers Sr. leaves the courtroom after a hearing this month in Macon.


In the days after his estranged wife Bridgette was shot dead at the wheel of her minivan, Jasento L. Flowers Sr. was nowhere to be found.

There was a manhunt.

There was concern he might not be taken alive.

The police soon found his 2001 BMW 740i, which shooting witnesses described as his getaway car, but they never caught up with him.

Instead, 10 days after the Feb. 22 slaying, in the wee hours of March 4, he walked into the Bibb County lockup and turned himself in.

At a commitment hearing in a jailhouse courtroom Tuesday, Flowers stood before a magistrate while a Bibb sheriff’s investigator laid out some of the murder case against him.

Flowers, who turned 44 last week, spent a decade behind bars for a 1991 conviction on cocaine-dealing charges. A prosecutor at the time described him as an “extremely aggressive” east Macon drug peddler, the young boss of a budding “crime family.”

His older brother Henry Flowers, who served nearly eight years in prison for his role in the racket, talked to authorities while Jasento was at large in late February.

Henry Flowers, in his early 50s, told investigators that not long after the slaying, Jasento called him in the middle of the night to let him know that the BMW was parked along Interstate 75 in Dooly County.

In court Tuesday, Bibb sheriff’s Investigator Joseph Vamper spoke of a signed statement Henry Flowers provided authorities about the brothers’ telephone conversation.

Vamper said there was some mention of Bridgette M. Flowers’ shooting, which happened on Trinity Place, a side street where Jasento Flowers was living across Emery Highway from the Ocmulgee National Monument.

Henry Flowers, according to Vamper, asked his brother, “Hey, do you know what you’ve done at Trinity Place?”

Vamper said Jasento replied, “You know I’m not going back to jail. I would rather kill myself than go back.”

During the hearing, the judge said there was sufficient evidence for the case against Jasento Flowers to proceed.

Along with the murder allegation, Flowers also faces four counts of aggravated assault.

Two other people were wounded in the gunfire that began on Trinity Place -- where Bridgette Flowers, 38, was shot in the face -- and ended half a mile or so away on Maynard Street where she had an apartment.

People in the Chrysler van with her steered it back to her place after she was shot.

Vamper said Bridgette Flowers, along with some of her family members and acquaintances, had ridden over to Trinity Place the night of Feb. 22 to drop off a young woman she knows.

While there, the investigator said, Jasento Flowers walked up to the passenger side of the minivan, asked if there was a problem and pulled out a gun, firing once.

A few minutes later on Maynard Street, Vamper said, someone in a BMW that looked like one Jasento Flowers was known to drive cruised past. Someone inside fired two shots. One bullet hit an 18-year-old woman in the ankle. The other grazed a 19-year-old man’s calf.

Investigators found a gun in the back of a truck at Jasento Flowers’ house, but they don’t know yet whether it was used in the shootings.

To contact writer Joe Kovac Jr., call 744-4397.

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