Trial set for defendant in fatal shooting at One and Only bar

5th District Courthouse, St. George, Utah, June 5, 2017 | File photo, St. George News

ST. GEORGE Bronson Joseph Flynn, who is accused of shooting a man to death outside the One and Only bar in St. George, is scheduled to go to trial in October as prosecutors and the defense wade through a number of motions scheduled to be decided in September.

Flynn, 26, of Ivins, was charged with first-degree felony murder, two counts of aggravated assault, as well as a number of misdemeanor drug and weapons charges after the series of events that transpired in the early morning hours of Dec. 29.

During a hearing Wednesday in 5th District Court, the case was scheduled for jury selection on Friday, Oct. 4, with the five-day trial set to begin Monday, Oct. 7, at 9 a.m.

Among the motions filed by both sides, the defense is challenging evidence obtained by police from Flynn’s cell phone under the premise that it violated his Fourth Amendment right against unreasonable search and seizure as well as his Fifth Amendment right against being compelled to offer evidence against himself.

The state recently filed two motions, including one that involves the “stand your ground” law, which the state contends does not apply to this case. The law establishes the legal right for a person to defend one’s self or others against threats or perceived threats, even to the point of applying lethal force, regardless of whether safely retreating from the situation might have been possible.

Instead of oral arguments, both sides will submit their arguments in writing, and the judge will decide those issues in the weeks leading up to trial.

The case stems from an incident that took place at 1 a.m. Dec. 29 when police were dispatched to a call involving shots being fired, and arrived to find critically injured Spencer Maluafiti Tafua, 34, who was transported to Dixie Regional Medical Center where he later died from his injuries.

Read more: Victim identified, additional details released on St. George bar shooting

Multiple witnesses told police that a man later identified as Flynn had fled the scene, but a short time later officers found the defendant sitting in a white Crown Victoria in the bar’s parking lot. He was arrested, questioned and booked into jail where he remains on $100,000 cash-only bail.

This report is based on statements from police or other responders and may not contain the full scope of findings. Persons arrested or charged are presumed innocent until found guilty in a court of law or as otherwise decided by a trier-of-fact.


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