Failed plot lands man a 20-year prison term
20-year-old’s stalking of ex escalated to planning murder
A 20-year-old Grand Junction man was sentenced Wednesday to 20 years in prison for devising a detailed plan to kill his ex-girlfriend and her new boyfriend and dump their bodies into deep holes in the desert.
Eric Flukey, 20, pleaded guilty to charges of second-degree attempted murder, stalking and committing a violent crime.
According to the conditions of his plea agreement, he could have been sentenced from 10 to 25 years.
Mesa County District Judge Richard Gurley said he handed Flukey a stiff sentence in part because the defendant had five prior felony convictions as a juvenile.
“The actions you engaged in were adult and violent,” Gurley said. “There’s no question in my mind that the victims in this case were terrified.”
Deputy District Attorney Mark Hand requested Gurley sentence Flukey to the full 25 years in prison, setting an example to the community that “people making decisions to kill in a jealous rage should be held accountable.”
Hand recounted Flukey’s criminal acts, which over a period of about four months escalated from stalking to having one of his ex’s boyfriends beaten up, to slashing the tires on her boyfriend’s vehicle, to stealing the couple’s personal items and asking friends to burn the items
in the desert.
Flukey told his friends to dig two 6-foot-deep holes in the desert where he would bury the couple’s bodies after he killed them at their home, Hand said.
Flukey’s attorney, Marna Lake, said Flukey never planned to carry out the shooting.
On the night of May 12, Flukey’s friends called police about the plot, and at about 11 p.m., police pulled over Flukey driving a vehicle in the area of the boyfriend’s home on the Redlands.
Flukey threw a loaded gun and a stun gun out the car window and fled from police, Hand said.
Flukey later confessed to police his plan and told officers where to find the gun.
Lake said Flukey carried a gun for protection.
Flukey, who has been in custody since his arrest, stood at the defense table and apologized to his family, the victims and the victims’ families, saying he was ashamed and embarrassed.
“I’m taking responsibility for my decisions and actions that I have acted upon,” he read from a statement. “I hope my words will weigh some on the hearts of people in the courtroom.”
Lake argued that her client “talked a lot more than anything he really planned to carry out,” she said.
Lake asked Judge Gurley to consider her client’s confession and that he showed police officers where to find the gun, evidence that strengthened the prosecution’s case.
“Find him responsible for what he did, not what he talked about,” she said.
Flukey’s mother, Connie Flukey, said she was shocked by her son’s steep sentence.
Connie Flukey, who has spearheaded searches for missing people through the Abby & Jennifer Recovery Foundation, said while she doesn’t condone her son’s actions, she thinks her son’s case was handled severely to serve as an example.
Connie Flukey, who described herself as a realistic parent, said she did not bail her son out of jail because that’s where he needed to be. When Eric Flukey was first arrested, she told him that she was enraged that if he carried out his plot, his actions may have caused her nonprofit group to search for two more victims.
“I believe my son deserves a consequence — but 20 years? There is something wrong with this picture,” she said. “If Eric is going to start a new example in this community, that’s awesome, but by God they better be as stern with every one of them.”