Feb 17, 2022

Flores faces cross-examination after allegations

Benito Flores

Fontaine murder trial: Day 7

The case defense attorney Pam Lipscomb presented in the Benito Flores trial has been met with a mix of shock, skepticism, and credulity by Oxonians at large.

But assistant district attorney Calvin Dollarhide showed no signs Wednesday after court of being even slightly persuaded by the defense's argument.

Dollarhide struck back quickly, not with outrage but with low-key pressure for additional specifics during his cross-examination of Flores.

Dollarhide asked the defendant a number of detailed questions about Flores' alleged "scuffle" with the victim's son, Grant Fontaine, the night of the murder. The defense argued that this altercation explained the injuries that witness Will Sands described seeing on Flores.

Dollarhide also played up the noticeable difference in physical size between Flores and Grant Fontaine, and pressed Flores to explain how Fontaine emerged relatively unscathed while Flores himself suffered a number of injuries. Flores attributed the disparity to Fontaine's cocaine use at the time, but it was not clear to court observers whether the jury believed that explanation.

Dollarhide went on testing the credibility of Flores' story by asking him to account for the fact that none of Grant Fontaine's DNA in the form of blood, saliva or skin cells was found on Flores' clothing after the physical altercation. Lipscomb's objection that Flores is not a DNA expert was sustained, but the damage was already done.

Dollarhide continued to hammer on Flores, pushing him to justify why the jurors should believe a self-confessed criminal and to explain why Grant Fontaine never named him as a suspect if, as Flores alleged, Fontaine set him up as a patsy.

The relentless questioning eventually took its toll, and Flores' anger boiled over as he leapt to his feet and shouted at Dollarhide. Court adjourned for the day following the outburst, and it's not clear whether Flores will be asked to return to the stand on Friday morning.

Either way, closing arguments are expected to begin during Friday's session with a verdict likely sometime next week.

ADA Dollarhide has agreed to speak with Crime Beat after closing arguments, so come back for that post after the case goes to the jury.

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