Cedar Rapids murder suspect had history of violence

Published: Apr. 4, 2022 at 7:34 PM CDT
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - The man charged with first-degree murder after a weekend homicide in Cedar Rapids pleaded guilty to assault charges twice within the past six years, according to court documents.

Our KCRG-TV9 i9 Investigative Team found documents showing Arthur James Flowers, who is 62-years-old, had another assault charge dismissed within the six-year time period after entering into a plea agreement with Linn County prosecutors.

He pled guilty to assault in two other plea agreements before being charged with first-degree murder after a weekend homicide in Cedar Rapids. According to the agreements, 10 days was the longest sentence he received from those plea deals and the largest fine he received was around $1,200.

According to Illinois Court Records, Flowers has also been charged with burglary, domestic battery, theft, and sexual assault.

Nick Maybanks (D), who is the Linn County Attorney, wasn’t in his current position when these agreements were signed. He said in a text message decisions on plea agreements are based on multiple factors.

“As a general matter, if a plea agreement is reached between parties and sentences are ordered by the court, it’s done after balancing the strength of the evidence, the wishes of the victim, public safety, and the interests of justice,” Maybanks wrote. “The ultimate decision on a sentence is up to the court.”

Maybanks added that he had confidence that any prosecutor assigned to a violent crime case takes those factors into consideration during plea agreements. He also said it would be inappropriate to comment further on Flowers’ previous criminal history.

Flowers is expected to appear in court next Wednesday and his bond is set at $1.5 Million.

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