Preliminary hearing scheduled for teen accused of killing girlfriend

Tanner Flores has a preliminary hearing on January 12 for the death of Ashley Doolittle.  (Photo: Mesa County Sheriff's Office)

Tanner Flores has a preliminary hearing on January 12 for the death of Ashley Doolittle. (Photo: Mesa County Sheriff's Office)

MESA COUNTY, Colo. — Tanner Flores’ family and friends packed the courtroom as the 19-year-old man accused of shooting and killing 18-year-old  Ashley Doolittle appeared in court Thursday.

A preliminary hearing was scheduled for Jan. 12.

Flores is facing two counts of first-degree murder and one count of second-degree kidnapping. All three charges carry a domestic violence sentence enhancer and the second-degree kidnapping charge carries a crime of violence sentence enhancer.

Flores is accused of killing Doolittle on June 9 near Carter Lake and driving her body down to a family-owned property in Mesa County.

On Thursday, public defense attorney Daniel Jasinski asked Judge Gregory Lammons to set the case out for a preliminary hearing — a chance for the prosecution to present the judge with evidence against the defendant.

Berthoud High School student Ashley Doolittle, the ex-girlfriend of Flores, was found dead in June of 20-16.

Berthoud High School graduate Ashley Doolittle, the ex-girlfriend of Flores, was found dead in June of 2016.

Eighth Judicial District Attorney Cliff Riedel appeared on behalf of the prosecution.

“We don’t have a disposition at this time,” Jasinksi said. “Ms. Janet Laughn and I had the opportunity to speak with Mr. Riedel, though.”

Riedel had no objections to scheduling the preliminary hearing approximately two months out.

“I think to be on the same page, the (prosecution) would ask for 2 1/2 or three hours (for the hearing),” Riedel said.

Flores, who is being held at the Larimer County Jail without bond, made his first court appearance via webcam from the jail June 20.

In that initial hearing, Riedel said Flores was not legally entitled to a bond. However, the court will hear arguments regarding bail modifications at that 1:30 p.m. hearing on Jan. 12.

Doolittle lived in Loveland and graduated from Berthoud High School in May. Investigators told the public she ended her relationship with Flores just a few weeks before her death.

Flores was reportedly “distraught” because of the recent breakup with Doolittle.

Ann Marie Doolittle reported her daughter missing the evening of June 9. It was reported by the Larimer County Sheriff’s Office that her family found her car unoccupied at Lon Hagler Reservoir in Loveland shortly after the missing person report.

Shortly after, deputies found her body in a truck with Flores in Mesa County.

Riedel cited a gag order in early September as to why he could not comment on whether prosecuting attorneys will pursue the death penalty in Flores’ case.