Convicted Felon Officially Announces Run For City Council

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For the first time, a convicted felon is talking about his involvement in the death of two Colorado Springs boys.

Gary Flakes talked about his role in the tragedy during his campaign announcement Wednesday night.

Flakes is now running for a seat on the Colorado Springs City Council.

"As a young person, my actions devastated the community and brought grief to two families," said Flakes.

Flakes was convicted of accessory to murder in the deaths of Scott Hawrysiak and Andy Westbay back in 1997. The boys were walking home on Valentine's Day, when they were gunned down. Flakes spent 12 years in prison for the crime.

"I'm running for City Council and that's what I'm here to talk about," said Flakes.

His supporters are standing behind him.

"He's a totally different person," said Wanda Tisvi-Couser. "This young man is not the same 16-year-old that he was years ago."

While Flakes announced his candidacy at the Sand Creek Library in the Springs, friends and family of the two murdered boys gathered outside, lighting candles in protest and remembrance.

"When I heard about it, I was really shocked," said Michelle Matos, a friend of one of the victims. "It's something that you never forget. It's still fresh in your mind."

11 News talked to both families of the victims. They didn't want to talk on camera, but say they are in shock that Flakes is running for office.

According to city officials, Flakes has a month to turn in all his paperwork to run for city council. As we've been reporting, the city is looking into whether or not a convicted felon can run for office. We'll let you know when they get back to us.

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