Roy Flores, the Southern California man who shot and killed a four-year old bear on the shores of Lake Mary last fall faced sentencing today, March 29, at the Mono County Superior Court’s Mammoth branch. Flores appeared along with his legal counsel Randy Gephardt. Presiding Judge Stan Eller sentenced Flores with a three-year conditional sentence that included 100 hours of community service and a $395 fine. The 30-day jail time portion of the sentence was suspended by Eller as long as Flores obeys his probation terms. Flores must also complete a hunter’s safety course.
The probation report, as well as several letters of recommendation and letters written by Flores himself were used as reasons for the jail time suspension. District Attorney George Booth read from some of the letters that called Flores an “even-tempered and level-headed” man, as well as a valued employee of the FAA, a father, grandfather, and church-goer. Judge Eller stated that the probation report as well as all of the letters would be released to the public for the next 60 days.
At least half of Flores’ community service must be served in Mono County. Work with Wildlife Specialist Steve Searles had been explored but because of training issues was not considered feasible. The local fish hatchery seemed like a better option for Flores to do his time.
Flores shot and killed the bear on Sept. 22, 2009 when the bear approached him and other people he was picnicking with. The group was able to “haze” the bear away at first, but when it came back a second time, Flores went to his car, retrieved a loaded handgun and shot the bear once from approximately 20 yards away.