AP NEWS

Houston man found not guilty in pregnant ex-girlfriend’s murder

May 9, 2019

A Houston man was acquitted Wednesday of murder in the death of his pregnant ex-girlfriend during a mid-day car chase two years ago.

Attorneys for Jeffree Burks, 21, called the case one of mistaken identity and said that Burks wasn’t behind the gun on Feb. 22, 2017, when Amber Flores was shot to death.

A Harris County jury passed down the not guilty verdict after what attorneys called an emotional trial. Afterward, prosecutors dismissed a murder charge against Flores’ unborn child and an aggravated assault charge against Flores’ boyfriend, who was in the car at the time.

“I think relief is the word,” Burks’ attorney, Brad Loper, said. “Our client has waited for up to two years for his day in court.”

Flores was shot in the back while driving in a car on the southeast side of Houston on Feb. 22, 2017. Her boyfriend, Dejaven Pratt, was driving them to his home and almost hit a light-colored sport utility vehicle southbound on Calhoun, police said at the time.

The driver of the SUV apparently flashed a pistol, and the SUV gave chase, Pratt said. He saw a man he knew as Flores’ ex-boyfriend lean out of the back passenger window and fire a rifle at them, hitting their car several times.

Pratt and Flores, who was 19, were shot in the back. The car crashed into a fence and hit a tree in the 5000 block of Van Fleet.

The boyfriend identified Burks as the shooter. Burks admitted to police that he knew Flores was pregnant, but always denied being involved, Loper said.

“We ultimately will never know what happened,” he said. “But the jury agrees with us that the evidence did not demonstrate beyond a reasonable doubt that Mr. Burks was guilty.”

Burks’ attorneys will move to have the murder charge expunged from his record.

The Houston Chronicle has reached out to the Harris County District Attorney’s Office for comment.

samantha.ketterer@chron.com

Twitter.com/sam_kett