Joseph Haley

The San Jose man accused by police of killing John Flood in a downtown Morgan Hill fight May 20 will be released from custody while prosecutors review the criminal case against him.

Joseph Haley, 32, will be released “some time tonight,” May 21, Santa Clara County Supervising Deputy District Attorney Steve Lowney said

Haley was arrested by Morgan Hill police on suspicion of murder in relation to the early morning fight behind the M&H Tavern May 20. He is accused of causing major head injuries during the 1 a.m. incident that resulted in Flood’s death.

“The case is under review. The review cannot be completed before the suspect’s arraignment date. Consequently, the suspect will be released from custody,” Lowney said.

Lowney did not specify how long it would take for prosecutors and investigators to complete the review of the case.

Criminal defendants in California cannot be held for more than 48 hours after their arrest without an arraignment hearing, where charges are formally announced.

Officers responded to the Tavern about 1:35 a.m. May 20 on a report of a man lying on the ground and bleeding from his head in the parking lot behind the establishment, on the 17300 block of Monterey Road, MHPD Sgt. Carson Thomas said. Officers located the man who was suffering from “major head trauma.” The victim was transported to a nearby hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Police identified Haley as the suspect through witness statements and video surveillance footage from the Tavern’s security system.

Flood worked at The Hill bar and restaurant across the street from the Tavern, according to The Hill’s owner Dustin Evanger. The Hill will host a 9 p.m. memorial wake for Flood May 21. Employees and patrons will pass around a bucket to take donations for the Wounded Warrior Project, per Flood’s father’s request, reads an announcement on The Hill’s Facebook page.

Friends and family set up a fundraising site at in Flood’s memory, to raise money for his family’s funeral costs and other expenses.

“He was a father, a friend, a son, and a veteran. John dedicated his life to protecting others. We will cherish the memories we have of John forever,” reads a message on the website from Flood’s friends Michael White and Michael Guizar.

Flood’s parents, Paul and Pamela Flood, added the following message to the fundraising website: “Johnathan’s mother and I want to thank you for your expressions of respect, friendship, and love for our son at this sad time. As Christians, we believe that anyone who believes in Jesus and accepts Him as their Lord and Savior will someday join him in Heaven. We know that we will see Johnathan again. Thank you again for remembering our son in this way.”

The fundraising website is located at

Anyone with information about the May 20 incident can call MHPD at (408) 779-2101 or the anonymous tip line at (408) 947-7867.

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Michael Moore is an award-winning journalist who has worked as a reporter and editor for the Morgan Hill Times, Hollister Free Lance and Gilroy Dispatch since 2008. During that time, he has covered crime, breaking news, local government, education, entertainment and more.


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