An inmate at Tarrant County jail charged with killing a notoriously accused child molester said Wednesday he warned guards he should not be placed in a cell with other people.
Flores talked to reporters from jail on Wednesday afternoon, the same day he was formally charged with murder in the case, according to court records.
Flores said he hears voices and does not know right from wrong. He said he was in solitary confinement before being moved to suicide watch for trying to kill himself.
“I told them I was schizophrenic and need my own cell. They didn’t know me either. They didn’t know better,” Flores said. “I can’t handle people. I said that when I first got here.”
Flores was in jail on a charge of assaulting an elderly man. He said he attacked the elderly man because he was hearing voices and thought he was part of Al-Qaeda.
Senior Chief Mike Simonds said he had not heard anything about Flores telling jail officials he should not be in a cell with other people.
“(Flores) went through the same classification process all prisoners go through,” Simonds said. “The classification for him to be placed where he was was appropriate based on those criteria.”
Simonds said inmates are classified by My Health My Resources, an agency that provides mental health services, when they arrive at the jail.
Simonds declined to comment on Flores’ classification specifically, but said that unless an inmate showed aggression toward other inmates or staff, he would not be considered assaultive for classification purposes.
“If someone was making specific threats or if they demonstrated they were going to be assaultive, they would not be placed with other inmates,” he said.
David McClelland, chief of staff for Tarrant County Sheriff Bill Waybourn, said in an interview Monday that it wasn’t unusual for more than one inmate on suicide watch to be in a shared jail cell. He noted the cells on the jail’s medical wing, where the inmates were being housed, can hold up to four inmates on suicide watch.
My Health My Resources “recommended to us placing inmates together because it was more beneficial. It’s better for them than solitary confinement,” McClelland said.
Brandon Flores, David Flores’ brother, said he believes his brother’s mental condition made him vulnerable in jail and that he probably felt alone, only escalating his schizophrenia.
“It just doesn’t make any sense,” Brandon Flores said. “I think someone has to be responsible for putting this guy in with my brother. I don’t know who gave the OK for that. My brother isn’t a killer. I just feel like there was some groundwork laid out to end up with my brother being a killer.