Palmer teen held on raised $500K bail in murder case
A Wasilla murder suspect is back in jail after a judge increased his bail following additional murder charges.
Judge Jonathan Woodman increased Jordan Flowers' bail from $100,000 to $500,000 at a Wednesday hearing. Woodman closed a portion of the hearing to the public to discuss "confidential matters."
Flowers, 19, was originally charged with manslaughter and assault in the death of 19-year old Gunnar Swan. Palmer District Attorney Roman Kalytiak's office later added counts of first-degree and second-degree murder against Flowers.
Troopers said Flowers told them he was drunk when he fired a weapon from the back seat of an SUV and struck Swan in the neck. Witnesses told investigators Flowers left the scene then returned, gave one of them the gun and fled again.
In a criminal complaint, Flowers told Alaska state troopers he "blacked out" during the shooting but remembered the events leading up to and after the gun went off.
Earlier this week, Flowers posted 10 percent of his bail and was released from jail. He traded his yellow prison jumpsuit for a yellow hoodie and jeans, and walked into his Wednesday bail hearing with his parents by his side.
Before the judge came in, Flowers sat at the defense table and looked back at his parents and mouthed, "I love you guys."
Judge Frank Pfiffner, who was initially assigned to the case, denied KTVA's media request for the Wednesday bail hearing. In court paperwork, Pfiffner said he would state his reason on the record.
When the hearing began, however, Woodman took the bench saying Flowers' defense attorney had asked for a different judge.
At Flowers' arraignment on Tuesday, assistant district attorney Lindsey Burton asked for his bail to be increased to $500,000. She cited an incident that happened when Flowers was a juvenile, in a case sealed to the public at the time, as one reason for the request.
"The defendant has a juvenile matter in which he held a loaded gun to his mother's head and threatened to pull the trigger and kill her," Burton said.
Burton also asked Flowers' Pretrial Enforcement Division supervisor be able to search his home and vehicle for firearms.
"He's threatened to kill one person previously and he succeeded in killing another person this time around," Burton said.
Woodman let media members back in as he announced his decision to increase the bail.
"Based on the increase in the severity of charges, which inherently increase risk of flight, [the] request of $500,000 total is granted," he said.
Woodman said he did not take into account what the parties discussed during the confidential hearing, and made his decision solely based off the new murder charges.
The judge denied the state's request that Flowers not be allowed to return to his parents' house while his trial is pending.
The defense had asked Flowers have a week to be out and try to come up with the additional bail money. Woodman denied that request.
Flowers was in tears as he was taken out of the courtroom in handcuffs. His next court appearance is March 21.
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