It was a murder that shocked the neighborhood but when the truth behind Marco Tulio Flores’ bizarre act of torturing and killing a family friend surfaced many in the neighborhood said they would have probably done the same.
Flores, who was sexually abused by his victim when he was a pre-teen, mentally broke down when he found evidence that the man that had abused him as a boy may be planning to abuse his younger nephew.
However, the courts last week sent a message that vigilante justice would not be tolerated and sentenced Flores to 15 years.
Flores, 19, of East Boston pled guilty to strangling 28-year-old Jaime Galdamez with a dog chain inside his Saratoga Street apartment in 2011. Flores accepted a 15-year prison term for killing the man who sexually abused him as a child rather than go to trial on a murder charge. Flores had initially been charged with first-degree murder.
“This was a homicide case, but it was also a case of child sexual abuse,” said District Attorney Daniel Conley said. “More than anything, I hope it gives parents and caregivers an incentive to talk to kids about inappropriate relationships. Remind them that no one who really cares for them would want them to keep a secret from you. And most important, make it clear that they won’t get in trouble for telling you about something that makes them uncomfortable.”
Assistant District Attorney Ian Polumbaum of the Homicide Unit said he would have introduced evidence that Flores brought a knife and metal chain to Galdamez’ home on the night of May 22, 2011. Flores confronted him about sexually abusing Flores as a pre-teen, and interrogated him about his alleged plans to abuse Flores’ younger nephew.
Flores then wrapped Galdamez’ face in duct tape and strangled him with the chain. Flores then took several items including computer equipment from Galdamez’ residence and doused the bed and Galdamez’ remains in lighter fluid. The next morning Flores returned and set the fire by reaching in through a window he left open. That fire led to the discovery of Galdamez’ remains by police and firefighters responding to the scene.
The D.A.’s office charged that Flores planned the homicide even before the day it occurred, showing that he had initially intended to kill Galdamez on May 20 but found that the victim was out of town.
Jurors would have most likely heard expert testimony regarding the nature and effects of physical, sexual, or psychological abuse and typical responses–including how those effects relate to the perception of the imminent nature of the threat of death or serious bodily harm.
“This was a just resolution to an utterly tragic case,” said Conley. “It provides accountability for a life that was taken cruelly, but it also recognizes the strong mitigating factors and the potential outcomes at trial.”
In addition to the homicide and arson charges, Flores also admitted to attempting to escape from the Nashua Street Jail for an incident in late 2011 in which he and a cellmate managed to spread the bars on their window and break the window itself in an attempted jailbreak. The plot was foiled when a guard in an office directly downstairs saw glass falling past her window.
Attorney James Budreau represented Flores.