Convicted Felon To Run For Office

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Two families of two murdered boys told 11 News they're shocked and disguted. They found out that one of the suspects connected to those boys' murders is now running for office.

Gary flakes is hoping to be a part of Colorado Springs City Council, but he comes with a criminal past. He went to prison for 12 years in connection to the murders of two boys in the Springs.

Nearly 16 years ago, in 1997, the boys, Scott Hawrysiak and Andy Westbay, were walking home on Valentine’s Day in their neighborhood on the southwest side of the Springs. They were randomly shot to death with a shotgun.

The two suspects, 16 year old Gary Flakes and his friend, 17 year old Jeron Grant, were tried separately. Both juries found the two suspects not guilty of first degree murder but did convict them of accessory to murder, a much lesser offense.

Ten years after that crime in 2007, Gary Flakes was up for parole. That's when 11 News sat down with one of the victim's family's to talk about Flakes.

“He has his whole life ahead of him… and Andy and Scott are 6 feet under."

Now almost 16 years after that crime, a campaign spokesperson said Flakes is a different person than he was back then.

We asked for a one-on-one interview with Flakes. We'll let you know when we hear back from the campaign.

City Council Member Tim Leigh said he believes a convicted felon is allowed to run for office. But he's surprised to hear about his candidacy given no apparent experience. He also questioned Flakes’ motive and seriousness.

Gary Flakes' campaign says the 32-year-old owns a consulting firm that focuses on leadership development. He will make his official campaign announcement Tuesday at one of the libraries in Colorado Springs.