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Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
CEDAR RAPIDS — A judge Wednesday ruled statements made to police by a Cedar Rapids man charged with killing a woman in April will be allowed at his trial next week, ruling the statements were made voluntarily and he was aware of waiving his rights and speaking to investigators.
Sixth Judicial District Judge Fae Hoover, in her ruling, concluded Arthur J. Flowers, 62, charged with first-degree murder, would have known he was in custody during the police interview. He was taken to the police department and placed in a locked interrogation room for three hours. He was informed of his Miranda rights and he signed a waiver.
Hoover ruled Flowers, who had prior experience with the criminal justice system, not only understood his rights on April 2, but knew the difference between one given to him in Illinois, based on a question and statements he interjected during a suppression hearing last week.
Based on the written narrative from Area Ambulance, Hoover said she determined the checked boxes portion of the report mistakingly indicated Flowers was disoriented. The written narrative said he was oriented to place, time and day. He wasn’t suffering from a low blood sugar issue or intoxication, which the defense argued would have prevented him from understanding his rights.
The defense also asked Hoover to move the trial out of Linn County because of pretrial publicity but Hoover denied that request earlier this week. She said the media coverage hadn’t been “pervasive or inflammatory or sensational.”
On April 2, officers responded to a 911 call at 6:06 p.m. made by Flowers who reported a woman, later identified as Emily Leonard, 22, of Cedar Rapids, had overdosed on heroin at his house.
According to criminal complaint, Flowers initially attempted to leave when officers arrived but then took them to a bathroom where Leonard was found with “obvious head injuries and blood spatter all over the bathroom.”
The woman’s clothing was in disarray, and police found a bloodied, 1-by-6-inch board, which investigators believed was the murder weapon based on the woman’s head injuries, the complaint stated.
Investigators said they found blood evidence in another area of the home where Leonard was likely killed and then her body moved.
During an interview with police, Flowers said he was alone with Leonard, a person he had known for many years, from Friday through Saturday, when he called in the “heroin overdose,” according to the complaint.
Flowers provided details about the incident that were not consistent with the crime scene, police said.
He also appeared to have blood on his hands and was wearing “what he described as” Leonard’s pants when officers arrived, the complaint stated.
Flowers’ trial starts Tuesday in Linn County District Court.
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