A 61-year-old Ceres man convicted of shooting two brothers execution-style over an alleged burglary has been found suitable for parole.
Christopher Scott Towler was found suitable for parole at an Oct. 10 hearing at California State Prison Solano in Vacaville, the Stanislaus County District Attorney's Office announced this week.
State parole officials have 120 days to review the decision. Then, the Governor’s Office will review Towler's case and determine whether to uphold, overturn or modify the state parole board’s decision.
The governor can also decide to send the decision to the full state parole board of 14 commissioners to review the decision or take no action, which would result in Towler's release from prison.
Prosecutors have said Towler, Rudy Milan Blanusa and Ed Haro killed brothers Gilbert and Joseph Flores in an execution-style shooting, because they believed the Flores brothers had burglarized Haro’s home and were selling the stolen property.
In February 1986, the Flores brothers were kidnapped at gunpoint and taken to a peach orchard, where they were shot 12 times with three guns. The brothers’ bullet-riddled bodies were found face-down in an orchard near Ustick Road and Whitmore Avenue, just south of Modesto.
An autopsy revealed that Gilbert Flores, 27, was shot eight times in the skull and torso, and Joseph Flores, 29, was shot twice in the back of the head and twice in the torso.
Towler, Blanusa and Haro were each convicted of two counts of second-degree murder and two counts of false imprisonment. Their charges included enhancements for using a gun in the crime.
Prosecutors said Towler in 1978 was convicted of second-degree murder after he killed a witness who testified against him in a narcotic sales case. Towler received a six-year prison sentence for witness killing and was paroled in 1982, four years before the deaths of the Flores brothers.
Haro was granted parole in 2011. Blanusa was found suitable for parole four months ago.
At the Oct. 10 parole hearing, Deputy District Attorney Jeffrey Mangar argued that Towler should remain behind bars. The victims’ family also attended the hearing and asked that Towler not be released from prison.