Man sentenced for 2021 murder in Fresno's Tower District

Gabe Ferris Image
Saturday, June 15, 2024
Man sentenced for 2021 murder in Fresno's Tower District
A judge ordered Jesse Gonzalez to serve 30 years to life in prison for the 2021 murder of 27-year-old Angel Cortez Flores.

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- A Bulldog gang member is now a convicted murderer.

Jesse Gonzalez stood before a Fresno judge on Friday to learn his sentence for stabbing an unhoused man to death.

"30 years to life in prison," Judge Geoffrey Wilson said.

Gonzalez will serve a life sentence for taking one.

The crime happened in December 2021, a few days before Christmas.

Volunteers discovered Angel Cortez Flores as they delivered holiday food to people experiencing homelessness near Fresno's Tower District.

They said Flores was in a pool of blood.

"He's not breathing and immediately, we prayed and just thought, he's gone," the women told Action News.

Investigators say the 27-year-old had several stab wounds, and at the time, police said the stabbing happened for no apparent reason.

The crime rocked the women who found Flores.

"He mattered to people. He was a human," they said. "He was a father. He had a son."

Surveillance footage from the area helped investigators track down their suspect. Gonzalez was on the run for nearly three weeks before police arrested him more than 200 miles away in Yuba City.

He first denied the charge and pleaded not guilty to one count of murder. But that changed in May, when he pleaded no contest, agreeing not to fight it any longer.

Gonzalez did not display any emotion in court on Friday.

He did not want Action News to show his face, but the judge denied that request and handed down the maximum sentence.

"It's true that no sentence could bring Mr. Flores back," Judge Wilson said.

He ordered Flores to pay $10,000 in restitution.

As part of Gonzalez's plea agreement, he cannot appeal the sentence.

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