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Released by: District Attorney
For Immediate Release

Healdsburg Man Convicted of Second-Degree Murder Denied Parole

Santa Rosa, CA  –  September 18, 2019  –  District Attorney Jill Ravitch announced today that on Friday, September 13, the California Board of Prison Terms denied parole to 72-year-old Manuel Avalos Flores, who was convicted of the second-degree murder of 23-year-old Ricoberto Arroyo in 1981. 

At the time of the murder Flores and Arroyo each lived in Sonoma County and had known each other in their native state of Mexico. Flores held a grudge against Arroyo because he believed him to be responsible for ending a romantic relationship that Flores had in Mexico. 

On the evening of January 16, 1981, Flores went out drinking with three companions and ended up at a bar in Windsor where he came upon Arroyo. As Arroyo left to rest in his car Flores confronted him and challenged him to fight. When Arroyo declined, Flores produced a .38 caliber handgun and shot him six times at close range, killing him.

Flores was subsequently convicted of the second-degree murder of Arroyo. 

On September 13, 2019, a hearing was held at the California Department of Corrections, California State Prison San Quentin to determine whether Flores currently remains an unreasonable risk of harm to the public, or whether he should be released back into the community on a grant of parole. After taking testimony from Flores, reviewing prison files and psychiatric evaluations, and hearing arguments from both Flores’s attorney and the Sonoma County District Attorney’s Office, the California Board of Prison Terms issued a 3-year denial of parole. In its decision, the Board of Parole Hearings stated that Flores had not taken sufficient advantage of rehabilitative programs offered by the state prison system.

The Board further stated that Flores had no insight into why he murdered Mr. Arroyo, and currently had the same criminal mindset as he did at the time of the offense. The Board concluded by commenting that if Flores were to be released into the community and “was faced with a similar situation in the future, he would respond in the same manner” and kill another person. Flores will not be eligible for parole again until 2022, at which time another hearing on the issue will occur. 

Deputy District Attorney Jamie Kandel appeared at the hearing in opposition of Flores’s release on parole on behalf of the Sonoma County District Attorney’s Office.

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Contact Information

Joan Croft
Media Coordinator
Office of the District Attorney
County of Sonoma
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