College Ave Standoff Suspect Pleads Guilty to Aggravated Robbery, Sentenced to IDOC

By Jeremy Coumbes on October 3, 2023 at 7:31pm

A Jacksonville man who was arrested following an hours-long standoff with police is headed to prison.

53-year-old Edward A. Flowers was in Morgan County Court for a pre-trial hearing this afternoon, stemming from his arrest by Jacksonville’s Special Response Team on August 7th of this year.

He was alleged to have robbed Dunlap Beverages in the 200 block of Dunlap Court at gunpoint and then fled the scene on foot. Flowers allegedly pointed a handgun at police before retreating inside of an apartment house in the 400 block of West College Avenue, resulting in a nearly four-hour standoff with area law enforcement.

A Sheriff’s Deputy and two Jacksonville Police Officers can be seen during the hours-long standoff in the 400 block of West College on August 7, 2023.

Flowers was facing charges of Class 1 Felony aggravated robbery with indication of a firearm; Class 3 Felony aggravated battery in a public place; and Class 4 Felony aggravated assault of a peace officer.

Morgan County State’s Attorney Gray Noll says instead of proceeding with the pre-trial hearing this afternoon, Flowers pleaded guilty to the aggravated robbery charge. Noll says due to how recent it was that Flowers was arrested and charged, the sudden plea was unexpected.

The offense date on this is August 7th and it is now October 3rd. Usually, cases like this take a little more time to resolve so it was a little bit of a surprise to the parties that we were able to resolve it today, but it’s not completely unusual.”

Flowers was sentenced today to serve ten years in the Illinois Department of Corrections with one year of mandatory supervised release, and given a variety of fines, fees, and court costs.

Jacksonville Fire Department Rescue personnel speak to law enforcement inside a residence in the 400 block of West College on August 7, 2023.

Noll says since his arrest, he believes Flowers’ change of heart and subsequent plea stems from his now being in a better mental state. “I think that Mister Flowers, certainly by his own account in court and based on other evidence presented, I think Mister Flowers was suffering from some sort of mental health episode on the date that this took place.

Not to the extent that he wasn’t responsible for his actions that day, however since being in custody he has gotten back on a regular schedule of medicine and was in a good frame of mind today.”

Noll says during the subsequent investigation following Flowers’ arrest, police determined that the weapon he used in the robbery and allegedly pointed at police was found to be not an actual firearm, and instead was a BB gun.

Noll says he compliments the Jacksonville Police Department, who showed a lot of professionalism that day by the manner in which they handled the whole ordeal.