A Pine Bluff man who was 17-years-old when he was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole in 1999 was re-sentenced Wednesday as a result of a ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court that said sentencing juveniles to life in prison without the possibility of parole constituted cruel and unusual punishment.
Brandon Flowers, now 35, was convicted of capital murder stemming from the June 19, 1998, shooting death of Patrick Brown outside a house on Tulip Cove. The conviction and sentence were upheld by the Arkansas Supreme Court in 2000.
Wednesday afternoon, Circuit Judge Alex Guynn re-sentenced Flowers to 25 years in prison, and he will receive credit for the time he has served.
Brown had been shot in the left arm, with the bullet traveling to his chest. He was taken to Jefferson Regional Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.
Interviews with witnesses at the time, conducted by former Pine Bluff Police detectives J.D. Cannon, Roland Dorman, Lt. Terry Addison and others, revealed that a large gambling game was going on inside the residence when five men, including Flowers, went to the house with the intention of robbing the participants.
A female witness who was outside the house at the time of the incident told police she saw Brown walk over to the house when three men came out from the back. A loud argument occurred when one of the men accused Brown of owing him money, demanded it right then. Shortly after, Brown was shot.
A co-defendant told police he was driving the car and went along with the others after being promised money. He said he was outside the house when he heard a shot; another co-defendant, Ervin Robinson, got in and said, “I think I shot that guy.”
When Flowers was interviewed, he told police he had been at home at the time of the robbery visiting with his father and brother, but when police interviewed the two, the father said he had been asleep at the time. The brother said he did not return home until approximately 3 a.m. and could not say if his brother had been home at the time. Flowers’ mother told police she had let him in at around 11:30 p.m. on the night of the incident and did not know if he had gone back out.
Robinson, 39, was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to 480-months in prison, according to the Arkansas Department of Correction website. He will be eligible to apply for parole on June 24, 2026.