Crime - Sacto 911

‘I’m not a monster’: Suspect in fatal hit-and-run of teen walking to school in custody

A suspect with an extensive criminal history and suspended license is in custody in connection with a September hit-and-run that killed a Mira Loma High School freshman walking to school.

Edward John Flores, 50, was arrested Nov. 5 by the California Highway Patrol, according to CHP North Sacramento spokesman Mike Zerfas.

Flores is facing a felony hit-and-run charge as well as a misdemeanor count of driving with a suspended license for the Sept.19 collision that killed De’Sean Rowe-Manns, 14, according to court records and interviews.

Flores has been arraigned and is scheduled to appear again in court Thursday morning. He is being held at the main jail in lieu of $130,000 bail.

In an interview with The Sacramento Bee Monday at the jail, Flores expressed regret and said he regularly has nightmares about the hit-and-run.

“I’m so sorry, I never meant for this to happen,” Flores said. “I’m not a monster. It was an accident.”

Flores said he was on his way to work the morning of the hit-and-run. He declined to give further details, and said his attorney advised him not to speak about the case.

Nancy Robbins, Rowe-Manns’ mother, said in an interview with The Bee shortly after his death that her son was walking to school early with a group of friends when he was struck.

Friends with him that morning reported seeing him hit by an SUV or minivan-type vehicle while he was walking his bike on Watt Avenue near Whitney Avenue. He was then reportedly carried on the hood of the vehicle as it drove away. Rowe-Manns, seriously injured, was found on the front lawn of a residence a few blocks from the collision.

“The kids say that an SUV hit him and kept driving with him on the hood while he was screaming for them to help them,” Robbins said at the time. “Then they (the driver) turned down Potter (Avenue), went down about a block and took him and laid him in the grass.”

The crash broke bones and led to spinal bleeding, Robbins said. Rowe-Manns suffered a “total loss of brain activity,” and died at UC Davis Medical Center, she said.

Flores said he turned himself into law enforcement because he “was tired of living in fear, tired of looking over my shoulders.” The Bee could not immediately confirm that Flores turned himself in to authorities.

“If I could take it back I would. I didn’t intend for this to happen,” Flores said. “I relive it daily. It’s not something you just forget.”

Flores has a criminal record dating back to 1997 in Sacramento County Superior Court. Most recently, he was charged with a misdemeanor count of grand theft in 2014. He was sentenced to five years of formal probation for that offense after pleading no contest.

Related stories from Sacramento Bee