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Wednesday, August 6, 2008

[FL] After mom-of-4 Kyishi Dowdell's murder, Chief stands by Sgt. Flynt

Previous entry:
[FL] Wondering if Sgt. Flynt's grandchildren really had to lose their mother, Kyishi?

The video and the accompanying news story today didn't say the same things on this Fox 35 report so I've transcribed the text of the video below. In the video Chief "Mike" Chitwood says there's been a call for Sgt. Jimmie Flynt's resignation. So far that's not showing up on the internet anywhere besides in this video, so I don't know what's up... but I do
know that over the last few days that almost everything heard from the Chief has been focused on clearing Sgt. Flynt of any suspicions that Flynt's son /Kyishi Dowdell's killer - Craig Flynt - could have been apprehended before this murder happened.
I also find it interesting in the video that the Chief apparently relayed that THERE IS NO NEED for an internal affairs investigation. In the face of speculations and calls for Sgt. Flynt's resignation? It's up to the citizens of Daytona to insist if they want answers or assurances - to wave signs in the street, fill the city council chambers, and PRAY for help from the media. Otherwise Daytona will get the leadership, and the police department that any complacent community deserves.

What stands out to me in the article that isn't in the video - is the Chief pointing out that Kyishi moved Craig Flynt's shooting away from her children by stepping out of the house and away from the door that the first shot had passed through - to save her babies,
that the Chief says that there's nothing that could have been done.
I never like hearing that. Seems like lessons for the police department that have been paid for with blood are lost - leaving the death completely in vain, and no promise of better operations in the future.
That's really sad.

Anchor 1, Corrina Sullivan:
A woman is dead. The suspect the son of a Daytona Police Sgt. Tonight the case is in the hands of the judicial system. And Daytona Police Chief Mike Chitwood says their case is airtight.

Anchor 2, Cale Remaker:
Tonight he tells us he's concerned for HIS employee, and his grandchildren. First on Fox Shay Harris spent the day in Daytona talking to the chief, and what did Chief Chitwood have to say?

Reporter Shay Harris:
Well Cal, Chief Chitwood says Sgt. Jimmie Flynt is having a very hard time with this - quite naturally because it involves his son. Plus he says Sgt. Flynt had really worked hard to try to help bring in his son in before something like this happened.
Chief Chitwood says the case against 37 year old Craig Flynt is pretty solid. He says four of his officers watched Flynt fire the final shots into 31 year old Kyishi Dowdell. He said for months Flynt had evaded them after he issued a warrant to bring him in because he violated probation for a domestic violence conviction.
Chief Chitwood says Sgt. Jimmie Flynt played a major role in his son's arrest back in November in which Flynt spent 57 days in jail. He says he'd also tried on numerous occasions to try to get him to surrender.
Now Chief Chitwood says there's been rumors of Flynt's resignation. - something he won't stand for.
Daytona Police Chief "Mike" Chitwood:
Know that when he did call his father he called from a blocked number because he knew that he'd track him through the phone number.
[Section is edited out as Chief picks up talking about Flynt resignation. Why?]
And that would be a loss to the City of Daytona Beach. My insistance I would insist that he stay because he is a huge part of this department, he is a huge part of this community.

Reporter Shay Harris:
Now Chief Chitwood says they've turned their investigaton over to the state so he says there has been no need for an internal affairs investigation.
We're live in Daytona Beach, Shay Harris, Fox 35 News.

Anchor 2, Cale Remaker:
Alright Shay, now the chief says it's a very strong case. Did he share with you what evidence he has to make him think that?

Shay Harris:
Yeah Cal, he actually said that eyewitness accounts from neighbors, the police, and the children are stacked very heavily against Flynt. Plus he said Flynt had the gun in his hand - he had the murder weapon in his hand, is what he said.

Anchor 2, Cale Remaker:
Alright, Shay Harris in Daytona Beach tonight. Thanks.

The Article:

By Shay Harris
Wednesday, 06 Aug 2008
[Excerpts] VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. (WOFL FOX 35, Orlando) -- While the final moments of thirty one year old Kyishi Dowdell’s life were being decided 911 calls were pouring in. Frantic neighbors were watching from their windows as police say thirty-seven year old Craig Flynt fired several bullets into Dowdell, ending her life... Daytona Police Chief Mike Chitwood said Flynt had written this ending months ago. “If you read that May (report), it was foreboding what was going to happen,” Chitwood said. “If you read the (report) in November where he was arrested and sentenced to 57 days for domestic violence, unfortunately the system fails when it comes to domestic violence.” For years police records indicate a history of repeated violence against Dowdell at the hands of Flynt. Then finally on March 14th Dowdell had enough. Chief Chitwood said she filed for an injunction for protection after Flynt put a gun to her head [CLOUD NOTE; AND GUN IN HER MOUTH] while one of their children watched. “No there isn’t anything she could’ve done,” he said. “In hindsight, 20-20, I feel horrible that we couldn’t make that arrest knowing I put a two day bounty on his head knowing I formed a posse consistently looking for the guy...
The fact that he fires a shot through the door... And she goes outside to confront him and walks away from the front door before she meets her demise was the sole purpose of that was to get him away from those children, not knowing what he was capable of doing in her act she was truly a hero.”

[Full article here]


    Daytona Times
    Andreas Butler And Karsceal Turner
    August 9, 2008
    ...Flynt came to the house with a gun and fired one shot into the house before firing on Dowdell when she came to the door... The couple’s children are doing okay, but have lost both parents. Police Chief Chitwood believes that Dowdell was heroic in her last moments... “I think that she was a true hero. He came to the door shooting and her kids were inside. I am not sure, but maybe her coming outside prevented him from shooting inside the house and killing the kids. She closed the door knowing that she had kids in the house”...

    Daytona Beach News-Journal
    Eileen Zaffiro
    18 Aug 2008
    [Excerpts] ...Something incredibly ugly turned into something beautiful Sunday night, as dozens of people decked out in dresses and suits and clutching flickering candles stood outside an aging red brick church, sending prayers into the overcast sky as it changed from gray to black. Their songs and petitions echoed down Mary McLeod Bethune Boulevard as they gathered beside New Mount Zion Missionary Baptist Church to remember a woman killed two weeks ago, and all of those who have suffered similar abuse. Let women know they're better than a piece of meat to beat on," one local pastor told the crowd. "We can meet here all night long, but if our minds are not changed, nothing will happen." The only reason this continues is because we're silent," another pastor said. The violence needs to stop," the crowd chanted loudly, over and over and over. The candlelight vigil was motivated by the slaying of Kyishi Dowdell, who police say was shot to death Aug. 4 by her ex-boyfriend, Craig Flynt... The vigil was organized by the Daytona Beach Black Clergy Alliance... Rev. John Long, said he hoped the event raised awareness among those of every race and in every walk of life... "Ask the Lord to intervene, interrupt, to stop the violence, protect the weak, to speak to whatever excuse we give," Long said as he urged the group to lift their candles toward the stars. "Love does not batter, hit, cut, burn or pinch."

    Daytona Beach News-Journal
    Lyda Longa
    29 Aug 2008
    [Excerpts] ...Dowdell and Flynt had a tumultuous history. They were together for 12 years... Dowdell called police many times because Flynt had beaten her and threatened her with a gun. Police Chief Mike Chitwood said officers had been searching for Flynt since mid-May when a judge signed a warrant for his arrest for violation of probation for domestic battery. But some of Dowdell's family members have expressed doubts about how aggressive the search actually was, saying they had seen Flynt more than once driving a white car around town. That same car was parked in the front yard at 820 Maley where the shooting occurred, according to the transmissions. A report shows that as four officers closed in on the scene, they saw Flynt shoot Dowdell one last time in the head. There is no mention of that, however, in the radio transmissions. As Flynt ran to the front porch at 820 Maley and pointed the gun to his temple, officers angrily yelled, "Put the gun down!" Police said Flynt repeatedly pulled the trigger, but the gun was empty. Meanwhile, the victim's children -- ages 5 through 12 -- were alone in the house at 828 Maley across the street. Two of the youngsters had already called 9-1-1 to report that someone -- they did not know who -- was shooting their mother. There are signal 39s (children) in the house," a dispatcher told police. "If somebody can be aware, they're looking out the window."

    Daytona Beach News-Journal
    Jay Stapleton
    14 Oct 2008
    [Excerpts] The man [Craig Leron Flynt] who gunned down the mother of his four children [Kyishi Dowdell] in front of several witnesses apologized to the slain woman's family - and his own - Monday before he was sentenced to life in prison for the killing... Flynt pleaded guilty to the first-degree murder charge before Circuit Judge Patrick G. Kennedy. "Kyishi was - and forever will be to me - a young, beautiful, vibrant, talented, friendly, courageous human being," her mother, Carol James, wrote in a letter to the judge. "She loved life, she loved God, she loved and lived her life for her children and daily showed them her love ... even in her final act to protect and shield them from the fatal assault"... Flynt, 38, who is the son of Daytona Beach police spokesman Jimmie Flynt, said he wished he could go back and change the outcome... Among the most heart-wrenching of calls made to 9-1-1 that night was the recorded voice of their 11-year-old son. "Somebody's trying to shoot my momma," the boy said. In the background, a younger child was heard screaming, "Mommy!"... Instead of facing the death penalty, Flynt will spend the rest of his life locked away, without the possibility of parole. Prosecutor Matt Foxman said that the plea deal was agreed upon after numerous meetings with Dowdell's family.

    Orlando Sentinel
    Lelis, Ludmilla
    14 Oct 2008.
    [Excerpts] Kyishi Dowdell had been warned of her own murder just a few months before she was gunned down... "Craig told me that this time I wasn't getting out of this because the gun was loaded with six bullets, and he had three in his pocket," the woman, 31, wrote in court documents in May when she filed for an injunction against Craig Flynt, her former boyfriend and the father of her four children... Court records show a history of violence and past death threats. Dowdell had gotten a protective order against Flynt in 2006, and he was convicted of domestic-violence abuse against her. The 2006 protective order had expired earlier this year, and Dowdell asked for a new injunction in May, after Flynt pistol-whipped her... Her mother, Carol James, wrote in a letter to the judge that Dowdell's death was her final act to protect the children from their father. "They bore witness to the defendant's violent outbursts, his physical assaults upon their mother and ultimately his deliberate and cowardly disregard for her and for her life itself," James wrote... In court, Flynt hung his head as Circuit Judge Patrick Kennedy accepted his plea and handed down the life sentence. "I wish I could do something to change it," Flynt said, apologizing to Dowdell's family. Then he faced his own family, saying: "I'm sorry. I love y'all."

    Daytona Beach News-Journal
    Jay Stapleton
    31 Aug 2010
    [Excerpts] A man serving life in prison for killing his longtime girlfriend wants to take back his guilty plea and sentence, claiming in court Monday that he was hearing voices when he gunned her down. Craig Leron Flynt, 40, pleaded no contest to the August 2008 killing of Kyishi Dowdell... Flynt claimed in his Monday hearing that he was forced into the plea that led to his life sentence and that an insanity defense was not explored. He said in court for the first time that he "heard voices" when he shot Dowdell, prosecutors said. Circuit Judge Patrick Kennedy listened but denied Flynt's request... Representing himself in court during the two-hour hearing Monday, prosecutors said Flynt - the son of Daytona Beach police investigator and spokesman Jimmie Flynt - argued he was denied his right to go to trial because Assistant Public Defender Matt Phillips "coerced and threatened him" to plead to the charge...


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