A Colorado teenager who formulated and executed a plot to kill his rodeo queen ex-girlfriend after she decided to start dating other people has been sentenced to life in prison, with the victim’s mother telling the court that the teen destroyed her family.
Tanner Flores, 19, will spend the rest of his life behind bars after he was found guilty of shooting his former girlfriend, Ashley Doolittle, the Times Call reported. He was convicted of two counts of first-degree murder and one count of felony kidnapping stemming from his violent reaction to his June 2016 breakup with Doolittle.
According to prosecutors, Flores flew into a jealous rage when he learned that Doolittle had moved on and was seeking to date other man. He hatched a plan to commit a murder-suicide, but when Doolittle survived an initial gunshot to the head, he decided against killing himself.
“She started twitching and freaking out, so I shot her again,” Flores told police. “I thought it would be an instant thing.”
Doolittle’s mother, Ann Marie Doolittle, told Judge Greg Lammons that Flores cut a promising young life short and destroyed many lives in the process.
“No one can begin to imagine the pain and agony one goes through after losing a child,” she said, noting that she had just built a new property for the victim to board her horses. “She never really had the chance to enjoy it. He destroyed two families. When he killed Ashley, he killed a part of me.”
“He took away our son’s best friend,” Ann Marie Doolittle continued. “We will never get the chance to enjoy with her the bright future she had. Now the court proceedings are embedded in our minds.”
The victim was the Boulder County Fair and Rodeo Lady-in-Waiting and was posthumously crowned rodeo queen. She hoped to study agricultural business at Colorado State University after graduating high school.