OLATHE, Kan. — The man accused of driving while drunk then crashing into and killing a Johnson County deputy pleaded guilty to murder Thursday.
Adrian Espinosa-Flores pleaded guilty to second degree murder for his involvement in the case, according to the Johnson County District Attorney.
Court documents say Espinosa-Flores’ blood alcohol content was twice the legal limit when he allegedly slammed into Master Deputy Brandon Collins’ patrol car the morning of Sept. 11, 2016. The impact caused a fiery crash that killed Deputy Collins.
Espinosa-Flores initially was charged with DUI involuntary manslaughter and leaving the scene of an accident.
The affidavit says that when officers arrived to the crash scene at about 1:40 a.m., there were flames extending 30 feet into the air, and it appeared the driver of a Ford F-250 had pushed Deputy Collins’ patrol unit into an SUV he had pulled over while the deputy was still inside the car.
More officers arrived to the crash scene to look for the driver of the Ford truck who had run away. Using a helicopter, canine units, and information from a nearby homeowner, officers eventually found Espinosa-Flores near an overpass at 69 Highway and W. 139th Street.
Investigators determined the truck was registered to him and performed field sobriety tests, which he failed, and a preliminary breath test revealed his BAC was .160.
Espinosa-Flores was arrested and agreed to speak with investigators. He said he was headed home to Kansas City, Kan., from Belton, Mo., after drinking four beers at a friend’s house. He said he knew he had crashed, but didn’t know what kind of car he hit, and said he got out of his truck because he felt like he was on fire. He said he ran from the crash scene without checking on anyone else involved.
He also told investigators that he has no legal status in the United States, and had illegally entered the country. Immigration Customs Enforcement has placed a detainer on him, and he faces possible deportation following the outcome of his manslaughter case.
His sentencing is set for January 12 at 9 a.m.