Cedar Rapids murder suspect found incompetent to stand trial

A judge has denied a change of venue request for the man accused of killing a woman with a wooden board at his Cedar Rapids home in April.
Published: Sep. 9, 2022 at 10:41 AM CDT
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - A doctor has ruled a Cedar Rapids man accused of beating a woman to death as incompetent to stand trial.

Arthur Flowers, 62, is charged with first-degree murder in the death of 22 year-old Emily Leonard at Flowers’ home this past April. Flowers initially told police Leonard overdosed but police say she had obvious head injuries and officers found splattered blood in the home and a wooden board with blood on it.

A judge ordered Flowers undergo a psychiatric evaluation in June after a hearing where Flowers made bizarre claims and insisted he be allowed to represent himself at trial. Flowers told the judge he started attending college when he was 11 and claimed to have degrees from 6 or 7 colleges. He also claimed he represented himself in three other murder trials and was acquitted each time. Flowers has a lengthy criminal record but has never previously been charged with murder, according to court records.

A psychiatric evaluation found Flowers incompetent to stand trial. He will now face a restoration of competency treatment at the Iowa Medical Classification Center in Oakdale. The court will hold a hearing in November to evaluate if Flowers is able to stand trial.

A woman told KCRG-TV9 Flowers nearly killed her in 2020 and described a pattern of drug abuse and violence with Flowers.