Defendant Accepts Pleas in 2019 Killing of Cousin, 2021 Prison Murder

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On Sept. 11, Baltimore City Court Judge John A. Howard accepted the guilty pleas of a defendant in both his pending cases.

Although scheduled to begin his jury trial in the 2021 murder of fellow prisoner Shane Burton, Cristino Flores-Perez, represented by defense attorney Antonios Heper, instead pleaded guilty. To close another pending case, prosecutors then offered Flores-Perez a plea agreement in the stabbing death of his cousin, Jesse Perez, in 2019, which Flores-Perez accepted.

As part of the plea deal, the prosecutor amended the charges to second-degree murder and conspiracy to commit second-degree murder. For second-degree murder, 30-year-old Flores-Perez agreed to a 40 year sentence. For the conspiracy to commit second-degree murder charge, he agreed to a sentence of 60 years, suspending all but 40 years, with five years of supervised probation upon release. This sentence will run concurrently to the 40-year sentence offered in the plea agreement for first-degree murder in the 2019 murder case.

In the Aug. 27, 2021, incident that occurred inside the Maryland Reception, Diagnostic and Classification Center on the 500 block of E. Madison Street, Flores-Perez was charged with first-degree murder, conspiracy to commit first-degree murder, possessing a deadly weapon with intent to injure and possessing a weapon while confined or detained.

According to the prosecutor’s statement of facts, correctional officers found Burton in a pool of blood on the floor of Flores-Peres and codefendant Khalil Madden’s cell. Burton had sustained seven stab wounds and nine cutting wounds. In addition to both cellmates having Burton’s blood on their clothes, Flores-Perez had scratches on his chest and arms.

In the Sept. 15, 2019, incident, Flores-Perez was charged with first-degree murder and possessing a deadly weapon with intent to injure. 

The prosecutor told the court that police responded to the 100 block of Rochester Place at 2:31 a.m. and found a witness restraining Flores-Perez on the living room floor. Jesse Perez was laying face down in the kitchen, dead from a stab wound to his upper-left chest. 

Flores-Perez’s plea forced a postponement in the case of 30-year-old Madden. Madden and his lawyer will return to reception court on Oct. 13 for scheduling his next trial, where the prosecution may compel Flores-Perez to testify against his former cellmate. 

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