A Stephens County jury found a local man guilty of shooting with intent to kill last week in a case dating back to 2019 in which a law enforcement officer was lured with a fake domestic call to an area of Duncan and had shots fired at them.
Mario Donelle Flowers, 36, of Duncan, was charged with shooting with intent to kill and possession of a firearm after a former felony conviction. The jury found Flowers guilty of shooting with intent to kill but not guilty on the second count.
The trial, which began following jury selection mid-afternoon Monday and lasted through Wednesday with deliberations taking place Thursday, saw Assistant District Attorney Cortnie Siess represent the State of Oklahoma while Dick Tannery, an attorney of Lawton, represented the defendant Flowers. Flowers previously entered a plea of not guilty.
The shooting took place in the early morning of May 19, 2019, near Elm Terrace Apartments.
Jurors listened to testimony from the police officer who was shot at, Zac Mitchell, along with other responding officers and detectives with Duncan Police Department. Testimony also came from Flowers’ then girlfriend, who said Flowers was staying with her at the time of the shooting. Jurors also heard testimony from OSBI agents who inspected the gun.
The jury also saw, throughout the course of the trial, recorded interviews between police and the defendant when he was brought in for questioning in 2019 and heard recordings of phone calls made to Stephens County Sheriff’s dispatch as well as the Duncan Police Department on May 19, 2019.
According to evidence and testimony presented throughout the trial, Flowers learned he had a warrant out for his arrest and first called Stephens County Sheriff’s dispatch to confirm the information.
Evidence showed a blocked call came into Duncan Police around 3:14 a.m. May 19, 2019, and the caller stated a male and female were walking on Elm near a church at 1st Street yelling and arguing. Testimony showed the caller refused to provide his name or number and terminated the call.
Officer Zac Mitchell arrived to the area of the supposed domestic around 3:21 a.m. and less than 30 seconds later his patrol unit began to take fire.
While Mitchell testified to seeing a group of people upon initially pulling up to the area, he testified if a gun went off from that direction he would have seen the muzzle flash and didn’t believe it to be those people.
Law enforcement testified to contacting their phone company, AT&T, to receive information about the blocked call. Information obtained and presented during the trial showed the subscriber information listed as Mario Flowers. They also obtained GPS information on the phone. On May 22, 2019, law enforcement found Flowers in this area matching the GPS information.
Police on the stand also testified to obtaining a search warrant and searching a vehicle belonging to Flowers. Inside they found a gun, but it wasn’t the correct gun.
The jury also heard testimony from a Stephens County inmate who shared a cell with Flowers after Flowers’ initial arrest. The inmate told the jury Flowers at first denied any involvement but eventually confessed. Flowers also told the inmate police had the wrong gun.
During testimony from Flowers’ former girlfriend, she told the jury her first interviews with police after the shooting were misleading because she was trying to protect the defendant.
During the first interview, the witness told police Flowers never left her side that evening and they were having a party and drinking. In a later interview, she told police Flowers left to get an ice chest. In a third interview, she told law enforcement what happened and recounted Flowers getting upset after learning about the warrant and retrieving his gun from her closet and going outside.
She also testified to Flowers hiding the gun he used to shoot inside the back of one of her old TV’s and taking it to a family member’s home to leave under a carport.
The jury fixed the punishment for shooting with intent to kill after one previous conviction at 38 years, according to court records. A pre-sentence investigation is underway and formal sentencing will take place at a later time.