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January 17, 2020

Crime and courts: Hearing on 2015 murder, domestic violence at the park

Hearing for 2015 murder suspects delayed again

The preliminary hearing for two young men accused of murdering Morgan Hill resident Cody Flores in 2015 was delayed yet again, according to authorities.

Suspects Chase Benoit, 22, and Spencer Smith, 22—both of Morgan Hill—were scheduled to appear in court at the Hall of Justice in San Jose Sept. 19. However, the preliminary hearing—where the judge will determine if there is enough evidence against the suspects to go to trial—was continued to Oct. 3, according to Santa Clara County Deputy District Attorney David Pandori.

Smith and Benoit are accused of stabbing Flores to death in a field in east Morgan Hill May 31, 2015, according to authorities. Both suspects were arrested shortly after Flores’ death, and have remained in custody on a murder charge since then.

The stabbing happened near the intersection of Diana Avenue and Ringle Drive, according to police.

The suspects pleaded not guilty at a previous hearing.

The D.A.’s office and Sheriff’s investigators have revealed few details about the late-night stabbing incident and the suspects’ possible motive. The court file on the case, which is held at the clerk’s office in San Jose, does not contain police reports or other narrative of the incident.

Pandori expects the Oct. 3 preliminary hearing to conclude as scheduled.

Driver accidentally collides with post office

Nobody was injured when an elderly woman accidentally drove her car into the front window of the Morgan Hill Post Office Sept. 23, according to police.

The vehicle, a four-door sedan, was parked in a designated spot just in front of the front doors of the post office, located at 16600 Monterey Road, when the woman accidentally drove into the glass panels, MHPD Cpl. Scott Martin said. The vehicle was not moving at a high rate of speed at the time of the impact, which resulted in a shattered glass window panel and damage to a planter outside the post office.

No injuries were reported, and there is no suspicion that drugs or alcohol were involved, Martin said.

Woman, 30, arrested on suspicion of domestic violence

Police arrested a 30-year-old woman on suspicion of domestic violence after someone reported a couple fighting at the Morgan Hill Community Park Sept. 23, police said.

Morgan Hill police officers responded to a call about 2 p.m. reporting a man and woman were involved in a scuffle at the public park on West Edmundson Avenue, MHPD Cpl. Scott Martin said. When officers arrived they located the couple in the parking lot next to the Community Park tennis courts.

The male victim suffered non-life threatening injuries during the fight, and declined medical treatment, Martin said.

The female suspect was booked at Santa Clara County Jail on suspicion of domestic violence, police said.

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