May 14, 2015

UPDATE: GUILTY! James (Ty) Flanders, Former Pastor of Calvary Chapel in Ft Walton Beach, FL, Arrested Today for Murder of Marie Carlson

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James Flanders

Former pastor arrested in 2011 disappearance, murder

Posted: May 14, 2015 4:40 PM CST
By Jonathan Andrews, Digital Manager
Source: http://www.fox10tv.com/story/29068783/former-pastor-arrested-in-2011-disappearance-murder

COCHISE, AZ (WALA) -

A former pastor was arrested more than 1,500 miles away from his church and home in Fort Walton Beach, suspected of a cold case murder from 2011.

Ty Flanders, 46, was arrested on Thursday for the 2011 murder of Marie Carlson of Fort Walton Beach. Flanders was charged with second degree murder.
Disappearance was mysterious

Carlson, the mother of Flanders' newborn child, was last seen on October 17, 2011, at the home they all shared with his wife.

According to the OCSO, several people got a message from Marie that said she'd left Fort Walton Beach to “do something she had always wanted to do”, but the message reportedly didn't have any more information.

Her ex-husband, Jeff Carlson, reported her missing seven days later after he couldn't contact her.

James Flanders located her vehicle at the Fort Walton Beach Airport, a day later, but there was no record that she'd rented a vehicle or flown out.

Carlson's disappearance was recently featured on a TNT show about cold cases, which brought national attention to the case.

Flanders was arrested without incident and will appear in court in Arizona.

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After the disappearance and murder of Marie Carlson was featured on a national television show, a former local pastor has been arrested in Arizona in the case.
Marie Carlson

Former Pastor Arrested In Cold Case
Posted: Thu 3:41 PM, May 14, 2015
By: Press Release: Okaloosa County Sheriff's Office

After the disappearance and murder of Marie Carlson was featured on a national television show, a former local pastor has been arrested in Arizona in the case.

The Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, the U.S. Marshal led Arizona WANTED Violent Offender Task Force, and the Arizona Department of Public Safety announces the arrest of 46-year old James Ty Flanders for the 2011 Murder of Marie Carlson of Fort Walton Beach.

Flanders, former pastor of Calvary Chapel Emerald Coast at 407 Racetrack Road, was taken into custody at his home in Cochise Arizona by members of the Task Force and Department of Public Safety.

He was arrested in connection with an Okaloosa County Warrant of Second Degree Murder, signed by Circuit Judge William Stone. Investigators with the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office are in Arizona as this case continues to develop.

http://www.wtvy.com/news/headlines/Former-Pastor-Arrested-In-Cold-Case-303802301.html

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RECENT TV SHOW THAT TELLS ABOUT THE CASE



ANOTHER LOCAL NEWS STORY
Former pastor charged in local woman's disappearance
By KATIE TAMMEN | Daily News
Published: Thursday, May 14, 2015 at 17:18 PM.

Marie Carlson, right, and her sister Esta Bridges took this picture on Oct. 15, 2011 while visiting Alys Beach together. Marie texted the photo to her sister later that night. It was the last time anyone in the family saw Marie.

A former Fort Walton Beach pastor was arrested Thursday and charged for his suspected role in the 2011 disappearance of a local woman.

James Ty Flanders was taken into custody at his home in Arizona on a warrant for second-degree murder, according to a news release from the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office.

He is accused of killing 37-year-old Marie Jane Carlson.

He will be brought back to Okaloosa County to face the charge, but it wasn’t clear when he would arrive, according to Sheriff’s spokeswoman Michele Nicholson,

“Thank goodness! Thank God! Hallelujah!” Marie’s brother Randy Bridges said Thursday afternoon upon hearing the news. “Finally some relief.”

Marie was reported missing by her ex-husband, Jeff Carlson, on Oct. 24, 2011, after he and their daughter couldn’t reach her.

Early on in the investigation, Flanders told detectives he’d last seen Marie on Oct. 17, 2011, and that she’d been upset. He said he went out for a run after the disagreement and when he came home both she and her truck were gone.

Her disappearance was featured on the TNT show “Cold Justice” on April 17.

“What we got in April was more than I could have asked for,” said Esta Bridges, one of Marie’s sisters. “I didn’t know this was coming. This is more than I could have ever imagined.”

Before she disappeared, Marie had been living with Flanders and his wife. She had recently given birth to a daughter she conceived with Flanders.

During the course of the investigation, detectives heard several different stories about how and why Marie became pregnant with her second child.

Flanders and his wife initially said Marie served as their surrogate, but people from Calvary Emerald Coast Church told investigators the three were involved in a polygamous relationship.

The wife has not been charged in connection with the case and the child remains in her care, Nicholson said.

Flanders’ arrest was based around seven primary revelations in the course of the investigation, according to the report.

Among the items to play a role were cell phone records that placed Flanders with Marie’s truck, the fact Flanders didn’t tell investigators he and Marie had a physical altercation on the night she disappeared, that he and his wife didn’t report her disappearance and that they left the area in the middle of the night.

Detectives also cited a conversation Flanders had with a friend about needing to get out of the country about two weeks after Marie went missing.

Esta and Randy both said they’re hopeful they will finally be able to find Marie’s body and put her to rest.

“I found out at work, and after that I went straight to church to pray,” Esta said. “I want to know where she’s at.

“She deserves that. We all deserve that.”

http://www.nwfdailynews.com/local/former-pastor-charged-in-local-woman-s-disappearance-1.478228?ot=hmg.PrintPageLayout.ot&print=photo

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MAY 15, 2015 UPDATE
https://www.cochise.az.gov/sites/default/files/sheriff/public_info/mug_shots.pdf

Booking Summary Report, by Name with Offenses & Bonds
Pages 11 & 12 of 37


Inmate Name: Flanders, James Ty

Date/Time: 13:58:02 05/14/15
Booking Number(s): 15-1538
Name Number: 224020 Age: 46
Address: Cochise, AZ
Offense Date: 08:25:00 05/14/2015
Statue: 13-3842FUG
Offense Description: Fugitive Warrant
Disposition: PSP
Court: 0204
Class: F6
Entry Code: CRIM
Jud. Status:
Bond Type: No Bond
Required Amount: $0.00
Optional AmountL $0.00
Clearance Code: [No exceptional clearance]

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Here is another website with more information:
Marie Jane Carlson Disappearance And Reward Fund – A Letter From MJC’s Family

https://letsfindthem.wordpress.com/2012/09/06/marie-jane-carlson-missing-since-october-18th-2011/comment-page-1/#comment-28758

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JUNE 16, 2015 UPDATE

'Cold Justice' suspect held on $1 million bond

                                                                                                     
By TOM McLAUGHLIN | Daily News
Published: Tuesday, June 16, 2015 at 03:29 PM.
It’s a rare day when an Okaloosa County courtroom is filled to overflowing for a bond hearing, but murder suspect James Flanders is, after all, something of a celebrity.
Flanders was featured prominently in an April airing of “Cold Justice” on TNT as a key suspect in the 2011 disappearance of Marie Jane Carlson.

The former head pastor of Calvary Chapel church in Fort Walton Beach was charged with killing Carlson just a month after the show aired.

In court Tuesday he testified he had considered Carlson his wife, along with his other wife, Tanya.

After a lengthy hearing, Circuit Court Judge William Stone ordered Flanders held on $1 million bond, an amount that clearly dismayed the many friends and acquaintances he had in the courtroom.

“I find the defendant to be a great flight risk and a risk to the public in general,” Stone said in making his ruling.

Carlson was last seen Oct. 17, 2011. Her vehicle was later found parked at Destin-Fort Walton Beach Airport but no sign of her has been found.

She was living with Flanders and his wife at the time of her disappearance and Flanders admitted early on that he and Carlson had been involved in a disagreement.

Details of the relationship between Flanders and his wife and Carlson were originally hazy, but became more clear as the investigation progressed.

Flanders’ attorney, Glenn Swiatek, attempted to convince Stone that his client’s ties to the community made him a safe bet against running if given a reduced bond. He brought several Flanders’ friends to the witness stand to offer to house him until trial.

Swiatek also argued that the court was holding his client on a murder charge without actually knowing Carlson was dead.

“This case is inference upon inference upon inference,” Swiatek said. “Is Marie Carlson dead? We don’t have proof. Was James Flanders responsible for her death? We don’t have proof. We have inference.”

Swiatek also argued that he wouldn’t be able to offer effective counsel if Flanders were being housed in the Okaloosa County Jail.

He also noted that Flanders had spent the last three-and-a-half years in Arizona without ever trying to evade authorities.

But Assistant State Attorney Angela Mason said Flanders was nothing if not a flight risk. She induced testimony from the defendant that he had at one time discussed with a friend leaving the country while under investigation for the Carlson disappearance.

She told the court that Flanders decision to resign as head pastor of his church and move to Arizona came as Okaloosa County investigators were asking questions about his relationship with Carlson.

Flanders said he’d been considering the move for a year, and at least one friend confirmed that testimony.

But Flanders also said on the stand that the Okaloosa County investigation had spurred he and his wife to leave the state sooner than originally planned.

“He cannot be trusted,” Mason said, citing Flanders’ dishonesty to his congregation about his polygamous relationship and his dishonesty to law enforcement investigating him.

She attempted to solicit testimony from Flanders that on the night before Carlson’s disappearance he and she had become involved in a “physical altercation.”

He hedged on using the term physical altercation, but did admit that he’d reported later receiving bruises on his chest and injuries to his arm.

Contact Daily News Staff Writer Tom McLaughlin at 850-315-4435 or tmclaughlin@nwfdailynews.com. Follow him on Twitter @TomMnwfdn.

http://www.nwfdailynews.com/local/cold-justice-suspect-held-on-1-million-bond-1.491643

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DECEMBER 3, 2015 UPDATE

By TOM McLAUGHLIN
315-4435 | @TomMnwfdn
tmclaughlin@nwfdailynews.com
December 02. 2015 1:02PM

Pastor charged with murder granted indigent status

Faced with mounting attorney’s fees and the cost of financing “a very complex matter” in court, former Okaloosa County pastor James Flanders has been granted indigent status.
That means the state is presently on the hook for many of his legal bills, according to Flanders’ attorney Glenn Swiatek.
One woman wants to know how that can be.
Susan Jenkins wrote a letter to the Northwest Florida Daily News questioning how Flanders can be considered indigent when he and his wife own and are renting out a home worth just under $140,000.
“He owns the property and I know he doesn’t live there; I live next door,” Jenkins wrote in a letter she emailed to the newspaper last week.
The letter contained an attachment to the Property Appraiser’s website and information regarding the Flanders’ home.
Flanders is a divisive figure in Okaloosa County. He was the popular pastor of Calvary Emerald Coast Church before word began to get out that he might be married to two women.
One of those women, Marie Carlson, came up missing in October 2011 and hasn’t been seen since. Flanders is facing second degree murder charges in her death.
He has acknowledged the polygamous relationship between himself, Carlson and his wife Tanya, but claims he is innocent of the murder charge.
Swiatek said his client is justified in claiming he’s broke.
“My notes reflect that the Flanders’ residence was in pre-foreclosure at the time that he applied for indigency (July 15, 2015),” Swiatek wrote in an email. “The Flanders were approximately one year behind in their mortgage payments.”
The Flanders took on a renter to help them make mortgage payments, Swiatek wrote.
“They were still behind but they were catching up,” he wrote. “They have evidently made an agreement with their mortgage company to at least delay formal foreclosure proceedings.”
At the time he applied for indigency, Flanders had approximately $4,500 in assets with $2,000 of that being equity in his pick-up truck, according to Swiatek. His liabilities and debts were approximately $240,000.00.
In his motion to be declared indigent for costs, Flanders estimated he’d be paying $85,000 to cover Swiatek’s representation. He said his wife has paid $20,000 out of her own pocket and with donations the couple has received.
“At this point we are behind in attorney fee payments and I don’t know how my wife will raise the required funds,” the motion states.
The “very complex” nature of the case will require payment to multiple expert witnesses and gathering information from more than 90 potential state witnesses, the motion said. Many of the witnesses live in Arizona.
Flanders said in his motion he doesn’t expect his case to even come to trial before next May.
Swiatek said Flanders’ motion for indigent status will have to be revisited. He has petitioned the Judicial Administration Commission to help with costs too, he said.
A hearing date for that motion will be set after JAC responds to the request, Swiatek said.

http://www.nwfdailynews.com/article/20151202/NEWS/151209821?template=printart

MAY 19, 2016 UPDATE
Thanks to Believer who posted this link: http://www.nwfdailynews.com/article/20160428/NEWS/160428849

April 28. 2016 4:59PM

Former pastor pleads in murder case involving missing woman (VIDEOS)
FORT WALTON BEACH — Former pastor James Ty Flanders pleaded guilty Thursday to killing Marie Jane Carlson in October, 2011 and has shown authorities where he buried her body.
Today will begin the “very tedious and time consuming” task of unearthing the corpse, according to State Attorney Bill Eddins.

VIDEO: James Flanders pleads in court 

VIDEO: Judge explains the minimum sentence of 111 months to James Flanders 

Circuit Court Judge William Stone agreed to accept Flanders’ plea of guilt to the charge of manslaughter, a downward departure from the second degree murder charge he was facing.
Under the arrangement Stone will have the authority following a July 19 hearing to sentence Flanders to a maximum of 15 years, a minimum guideline sentence of 111 months — slightly over nine years — or consider something less.

Flanders asked for and received the hearing. He told Stone he believes he can produce evidence at that time compelling enough to convince the judge to depart from the minimum guidelines and lessen his prison time.

Flanders, who has been in jail facing the second-degree murder charge since last May 14, finally confessed during plea negotiations to killing Carlson, who he has said he considered his second wife.
“He described an incident where he grabbed her and held her in a tight bear hug and they fell to the floor,” said Assistant State Attorney Angela Mason, who would have prosecuted Flanders at trial. “They fell to the floor and he held her until she stopped moving.”

Flanders told prosecutors that when he saw Carlson wasn’t breathing he took her outside and buried her in his backyard on Revere Avenue in Fort Walton Beach, Mason said.

Both Eddins and Mason said Flanders had convinced them that Carlson’s death was not premeditated. Eddins said Carlson’s family is content with the plea arrangement.

Flanders told the court Thursday that he waited to make a plea in the case until the state offered the correct charge of manslaughter.

Family members chose not to speak to the media Thursday.

Eddins applauded the work of Mason in closing the Flanders’ case and the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office for its investigation of Carlson’s disappearance and presumed murder.

He said the Sheriff’s Office had at one time searched Flanders’ backyard for evidence that he’d buried Carlson there, and even brought in cadaver dogs to help.

“My belief is the body was buried so deep and hidden so completely, that the only way we would have found it would have been to dig up the entire yard,” Eddins said.

Eddins said in the last couple of days Flanders has accompanied him and others to the Revere Drive property and shown them where Carlson’s body will be found. He said he is absolutely certain the location is the correct one.

Flanders’ attorney, Glenn Swiatek, said Flanders made the decision to take the plea for the sake of Carlson’s family and his own family.

“While his life is going to be difficult over the next few years, he made his decision basically based upon what was in the best interest of the Carlson’s family and his own family,” Swiatek said.
Eddins said the state will pursue the maximum sentence for Flanders and use the fact that he hid her body from detection as an aggravating factor to bolster the request.

Carlson was 37 on Oct. 24 when her ex-husband reported her missing.

Flanders told detectives investigating the disappearance that he'd last seen Marie a week before, and that she’d taken her truck and left the home that he, his wife Tanya, and Carlson shared.

At the time of her disappearance Carlson had recently given birth to a daughter she conceived with Flanders, who was then the pastor of Calvary Emerald Coast Church.

Some church members had come to believe what Flanders would later confirm, that he, Tanya and Carlson were involved in a polygamous relationship.

Carlson’s truck was found at Destin-Fort Walton Beach Airport not long after her disappearance.
Flanders and his wife moved to Arizona in 2012. He was charged with second-degree murder and brought back to Florida just a couple of weeks after the television show “Cold Justice” aired a program on Carlson’s disappearance.

NEXT...
http://www.nwfdailynews.com/news/20160429/human-remains-found-at-burial-site-arrest-report-photos-video
April 29. 2016 10:09AM

Human remains found at burial site (ARREST REPORT, PHOTOS, VIDEO)


PHOTO/ OKALOOSA COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE | Special to the Daily News
Human remains were retrieved Friday from the back yard of an Ocean City home formerly owned by pastor James Flanders.

Bones believed to be those of 37-year-old Marie Carlson were just where Flanders had told authorities the day before that they would find them.

READ the arrest report.

He took investigators to 714 Revere Avenue Thursday to show them where he’d buried Carlson after literally squeezing the life out of her.

Officers from four agencies spent hours carefully removing the remains to allow for their shipment to Pensacola, where the Medical Examiner’s Office will positively identify them, said Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office Capt. Mike Card.

The identification will conclude a search for the 37-year-old Carlson that began on Oct. 17, 2011 when her ex-husband, Jeff Carlson, reported her missing.

It will also clear the way for Flanders, once the popular pastor of Calvary Emerald Coast Church, to secure a plea deal that ensures he will serve no more than 15 years in prison for killing Carlson.
Jeff Carlson said Friday there is great relief in finally recovering his ex-wife’s body, but no joy in seeing Flanders use its recovery to finagle a deal with the State Attorney’s Office.

“I want people to understand that yes, as a family we all agreed to presenting the deal as an option, but that doesn’t mean we’re happy with it,” Jeff Carlson said. “That was the only way we were going to find out what he did with her remains.

“That he will only serve 15 years is a travesty.”

The deal was finalized in Okaloosa County Circuit Court Thursday when Judge William Stone accepted Flanders plea of guilty to the charge of manslaughter and agreed to cap the sentence at a maximum of 15 years.

Flanders could also be sentenced to a minimum guideline sentence of just over nine years and has asked the judge for the opportunity to argue for a downward departure even from that.
A sentencing hearing will be held July 19. State Attorney Bill Eddins has already said he will seek to have the 15 year maximum imposed.

The plea deal was brokered over several days of negotiations, Eddins said.

Flanders confessed to prosecutors during the discussions that he had killed Carlson during an argument by placing her in “a tight bear hug” and hanging on until she stopped moving.
Afterward he buried her in the back yard on the west side of the home.

Carlson was living with Flanders and his wife, Tanya, at the Revere Avenue address at the time of her death.
She was in what Tanya Flanders described to a church friend a “sister wife” relationship, with the Flanders, a police report said, and bore a child, Grace, shortly before she died.

Jeff Carlson said Grace is presently under the care of Tanya Flanders and Carlson family members have exhausted almost all efforts to wrest custody away.

Tanya Flanders is unhappy that the family is even allowed court-ordered video visits with Grace.
“She feels that they shouldn’t be allowed even that,” Carlson said.

Tanya Flanders is not considered an accomplice in the disappearance or death of Marie Carlson, Eddins said.

Investigators from the Sheriff’s Office, Medical Examiner’s Office, FDLE and State Attorney’s Office were all represented Friday at the Revere Avenue residence. Card, who acted as spokesman for the group, said each agency was playing a particular role in the excavation.
Remains were found fairly quickly into the search, Card said, but once they were located the pace of the digging slowed dramatically.

“We’re literally using tongue depressors and toothbrushes,” Card said at about 10 a.m. “It’s a very slow, meticulous process.”

A forensic anthropologist was brought on scene to assist in removing the remains, Card said. He said such care was taken to preserve the evidentiary value of any items found.
The commotion at the residence, complete with a cop directing traffic, crime scene tape and an FDLE van, disrupted the calm of the quiet residential neighborhood. Passersby stopped to ask assembled media what was going on.

Polly Yates, who has lived on Revere Avenue for 34 years, was distressed by the whole scene.
“I'll be glad when it's all over,” she said. “It's beyond me how this can happen.”
Jeff Carlson, who now lives in Colorado, still holds fond memories of his ex-wife, whose passing can now be memorialized in proper fashion.

“I never stopped loving her,” he said. “She wanted to go her own way, and I had to respect that.”
The couple had a daughter of their own, Paris, who is about to turn 12. She’s old enough now, Jeff said, to begin to understand the horrors her mother endured.
“I’ll have to deal with the after effects,” he said.


 Previous coverage

Human remains were found early Friday where former pastor James Flanders recently told authorities he had buried Marie Carlson five years ago.

Following the initial discovery the excavation of the site slowed to a crawl, according to Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office Capt. Mike Card, so that nothing of evidentiary value would lost.
“We’re literally using tongue depressors and tooth brushes,” Card said. “It’s a very slow, meticulous process.”

A forensic anthropologist was on the scene working with the Sheriff’s Office, Medical Examiner’s Office, Florida Department of Law Enforcement and State Attorney’s Office, Card said.
Late in the morning Card said it would be several hours before the discovered remains could be removed from the backyard of a home at 714 Revere Avenue in Ocean City and turned over to the Medical Examiner’s Office for positive identification.

Flanders provided information on the location of Carlson’s body in exchange for the opportunity to plead guilty to manslaughter in her October 2011 death.

He had been charged with second-degree murder.
Flanders told Assistant State Attorney Angela Mason that he held Carlson in “a tight bear hug” on the night of her death until she stopped moving, then buried her in the yard when he realized she was dead.

The Sheriff’s Office served a search warrant at 714 Revere Avenue to dig in the location Flanders said he had buried Carlson’s body. The residence now belongs to someone else.
The commotion, complete with crime scene tape and an FDLE van, disrupted the calm of the quiet residential neighborhood. Passersby asked assembled media what was going on.

Polly Yates, who has lived on Revere Avenue for 34 years, was distressed by the whole scene.
“I'll be glad when it's all over,” she said. “It's beyond me how this can happen.”

Previous coverage
10:42 a.m. update: Lawmen confirmed Friday morning they have found human remains at a Revere Avenue burial site. More information will be forthcoming.

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement and Okaloosa County Sheriff's Office have begun the search for Marie Jane Carlson's body, allegedly buried in the back yard of a Revere Avenue residence by former pastor James Ty Flanders in October 2011.
Flanders has admitted to killing Carlson.

The Daily News is on the scene and will update the story throughout the day with tweets, video and text.

UPDATE JANUARY 20, 2017
What in the world?? Flanders KILLED an innocent woman and then LIED to the police.





JUNE 3, 2017 UPDATE 

Just re-watched the Cold Justice episode showing this crime and came upon the following article:

Flanders gets 15 years for manslaughter
Tuesday
Posted Jul 19, 2016 at 7:11 PM

Image result for "james flanders" 15 years
Former Pastor James Flanders sentenced in manslaughter trial.
By TOM McLAUGHLIN

FORT WALTON BEACH — James Flanders, once the popular pastor of a Fort Walton Beach church, will serve 15 years in prison on a manslaughter charge for the 2011 killing of Marie Carlson, his “sister wife.”

Okaloosa County Circuit Judge William Stone didn’t hesitate to tag Flanders with the maximum sentence following a long hearing that featured impassioned pleas from Carlson’s family for strict punishment and Flanders’ gripping apology.

Flanders’ apparent remorse didn’t move Randy Bridges, one of Carlson’s brothers.
Former pastor James Flanders sentenced in manslaughter trial.

“I’m happy that he did receive the maximum allowed by law,” Bridges said after the hearing. “Was it a fair sentence? Probably not. We would have preferred more.”


The state had allowed Flanders, who originally had been charged with second-degree murder, to plead guilty to the manslaughter charge earlier this year in return for his telling investigators where he had buried Carlson’s body almost five years ago.

A search for Carlson began after her ex-husband reported her missing Oct. 24, 2011.

Flanders was always suspected of possible wrongdoing, but without a body authorities struggled to build a case.

Flanders, who had fathered a child with Carlson while involved in a polygamous relationship with her and his present wife, Tanya, moved to Arizona shortly after the disappearance.

A break in the case came when Carlson’s disappearance was featured on the television show “Cold Justice” in April 2015. Flanders was arrested a month later.

He and his attorney, Glenn Swiatek, struck the deal in April to secure the manslaughter charge. Flanders revealed at that time Carlson’s body had been buried all along in the backyard of the home he lived in when she disappeared.

The family, still embroiled in a battle with Tanya Flanders for custody of Grace, the baby Carlson bore, let the former pastor of Calvary Emerald Coast Church know Tuesday they weren’t ready to forgive his lies and deception.

“For over four-and-one-half years we didn’t know if our sister was alive or dead. Her child, Grace, was taken away and reared by the murderer of her mother,” Randy Bridges said in a statement to Judge Stone.

“He has inflicted more mental trauma upon our family than anyone can imagine,” Bridges continued. “It is our hope, judge, that you will show as much mercy to this killer as he showed to our sister, Marie.”

Flanders sat with his elbows on the defense table, hands covering his eyes, as Bridges, another brother of Carlson, and Marie’s ex-husband, Jeff Carlson, disparaged him.

“Unfortunately you can’t get the life sentence you deserve,” Jeff Carlson said.

In his own statement, Flanders sounded as hard on himself as his detractors.

“I never imagined it was within me to fail and fall the way I did in every way at the time of Marie’s death, and in the days and weeks that followed,” he said. “It would take an act of God for me to forgive James Flanders. ... My entire life has been a horrible lie.”

Swiatek presented at the sentencing hearing a psychiatrist who testified that Flanders needs treatment and medication for a host of mental issues.

The defense attorney argued for a shorter sentence with time set aside after prison for Flanders to get the help he needs.

However, Assistant State Attorney Angela Mason argued that Flanders’ mental issues had nothing to do with his actions of Oct. 24, 2011, or with his decision afterward to cover up his crime and lie to police.

Mason pounced on a statement Flanders had made to a psychiatrist about having put Carlson in a “choke hold” at the time he killed her. He had previously said he had killed her by holding her in a tight bear hug.

Stone, in pronouncing sentence, said the most convincing argument he had heard for leniency Tuesday had come from Flanders own mouth.

But his stirring statement ultimately was not enough to prevent the judge from levying the maximum sentence.

http://www.nwfdailynews.com/news/20160719/flanders-gets-15-years-for-manslaughter

Also, here is the link the Okaloosa Sheriff's report:
http://www.sheriff-okaloosa.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/May-14-Former-FWB-Pastor-Arrested-on-Murder-Charge.pdf

18 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for keeping us updated on this case. I was mortified when hearing this news. We attended CC for a short while while be stationed in Fl. We left because he wasn't preaching the truth, but never could have imagined this! God bless you, Cathy!

6/23/15, 9:30 PM  
Blogger Cathy Palmer said...

Good that you left and too bad for those who stayed... very sad and horrific on every level!

6/23/15, 10:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This woman already abandoned one daughter. Who's to say she didn't do the same thing. Destin is a popular destination for wealthy men. How do we know she didn't meet someone and try to start a new life? They have all of his cell phone records during the time she went missing. Why haven't they been able to find her body? This case baffles me. A million $ for bail with no body and a second degree murder charge is insane. We left Florida im 2007 and he was talking about moving back to AZ then. When our children were small we traveled at night so our kids could sleep. Cold Justice did what they had to do for the ratings. If he did it he will be judged by God. Just like Marie will be judged for abandoning her children and leading a promiscuous life. Her husband and James weren't the only men in her life.

6/29/15, 11:54 AM  
Anonymous Everyone else in the world said...

Really Tanya? Anonymous? Really?

9/5/15, 12:38 PM  
Blogger Constant Observer said...

The Narcissist Twins.
Totally Sure they would not be caught. Karma.....
The Great Equalizer.....

The whore song Cracks me up....
James ,,, James .... James ....
Does Tanya know ?
The Song is about her ?

You both are....
Some Kinda Whacked Out......

Peace2u and the ones you wrecked......

12/9/15, 3:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Are there any new developments in this case???

2/3/16, 2:39 PM  
Blogger Cathy Palmer said...

Nothing new that I could find but here are some comments from last month to the Dec 3, 2015 article:
Steve Duke · Investigator at Investigator, Law Firm

I saw an adage that seems to fit this perfectly: "An attorney with a briefcase can steal more money than a hundred men with guns."


Doug DeVoy · Cook Manager at Kitchen Manager/Head Chef

to keep calling this guy a "pastor" is a joke.. he is scum and gives religion a bad name.


Christopher Clyatt · President at Emerald Coast Pest Control

I agree. The man married my wife and I in 2003. He'll get what's coming to him.


Misty Claveloux

Christopher Clyatt - how is stating that he married you & your wife relevant in your argument that "he'll get what is coming to him?" You obviously chose him to marry you for a reason. He married my husband & I as well and made a huge impact on my life. I was newly saved when I met James, and his teachings changed my life. I don't agree with the polygamy by any stretch, but I'm praying for all involved - including my friends James & Tanya. Innocent until proven guilty is still the rule - or has the little bit of media coverage condemned him already?


Karen Broxson

Misty Claveloux he condemned himself.he is a scumbag


Gary Gobin · Fort Walton Beach, Florida

Karen Broxson ,You must not be a Christian so you get a pass,


Misty Claveloux

Karen Broxson I condemned myself when I confessed my sins & asked Jesus to forgive me. I wonder if His reply was, "she's a scumbag!"


Nancy Morris

If they haven't been using the rental income to pay the mortgage on his FWB property (as stated by his attorney... they have not paid a mortgage payment in approx. a year) then why is he able to claim indigent status and maintain the asset of a home? I don't understand how they can accept income from rent and still be considered indigent. Isn't indigent no form of assets and income?


Brian Ricks · Coronado, California

If he cannot afford an attorney, one will be appointed. I think I heard that somewhere before. Swaitek either needs to defend him pro bono or quit.


Linda Sherman · FarmVille

Brian Ricks...you beat me to the punch. I was going to say the same thing. If he cannot afford his lawyer's fees then he should be assigned an attorney by the court at the same time they changed his financial status. Just because he currently has an EXPENSIVE Lawyer, he can't pay him. Sooooo...I'm sure his current lawyer will back out and if not, then we the citizens end up paying and that's what I Object to.

2/3/16, 3:16 PM  
Blogger Cathy Palmer said...

And a few more comments from last month...


Linda Sherman · FarmVille

I try not to judge and sometimes I do. I believe in "Innocent until proven guilty". I also believe in "Speedy trial" and I think over a year is NOT Speedy. This isn't about who he married, it's about "Did he murder his wife". The State must have enough evidence to arrest someone even if it's small items or a lot of evidence. This case shows me that if he had two wives but only let people know of one, then he knew he was not following his Ministery as he preaches and that makes me wonder what else is he hiding?

He has been arrested for killing one of his wives and this should be the item of i...See More


Rachel Crowe · Works at Retired

Someone in his friends circle knows something. He had scraches on his arms and admitted that they got into and altercastion. He asked someone from the church to help him get out of the country. Why is that, if you didn't do anything why get out of the country. How come he didn't go to the police when she disappeared? Why did it have to be her ex-husband? How long had he planned on getting another wife to have a baby? Why not adopted? If they had money to support Marie, then why didn't they just artifically insemanate her. No instead he had sex with her. Why did the church turn their ...See More


Dan Schramm · University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee

Indigent does not mean destitute. However, one issue that is not mentioned at all, is how much equity do they have in the home? How much do they owe on the loan? Also, a homestead is exempt from execution so perhaps it is also exempt from the legal requirements of criminal indigency. For instance, if someone wins a judgment against you, your homestead can't be executed against. You are also allowed a car worth up to $3,000, tools, furniture and other things up to a few grand more.

2/3/16, 3:16 PM  
Blogger Cathy Palmer said...

The complete comment from Rachel Crowe · Works at Retired

Someone in his friends circle knows something. He had scratches on his arms and admitted that they got into an altercation. He asked someone from the church to help him get out of the country. Why is that, if you didn't do anything why get out of the country. How come he didn't go to the police when she disappeared? Why did it have to be her ex-husband? How long had he planned on getting another wife to have a baby? Why not adopted? If they had money to support Marie, then why didn't they just artificially inseminated her. No instead he had sex with her. Why did the church turn their back on Marie's family? They didn't help with an award money ( not all of the reward money, but something). Marie was one of their own. They didn't (according to the family) help with the search. I am angry at the way the church has treated this. When she turned up missing and James asked for help to get out of the country (not state) then someone should have called the police and told them what they had seen. There is no pastor- congregational confidentiality when there is abuse or mysterious disappearance. When he did preach was the word from God, or did he have other intentions? I started going to Calvary back in 1999. I was under James and was friends with Tanya, Cornelia, and Garnett. We were there for each other. In 2000 I started running away from home. This was due to the fact that I didn't want to work on Sunday. Sunday is the day of rest and learning about the Lord. I was told that God would be angry with me if I worked on Sunday. I felt God was already mad at me and I didn't want to make him any angrier. I was 19 at the time. James and Tanya offered me to stay at their house. They would support me and drive me back and forth to OWCC in Niceville. I was in the police academy at the time and was going to class 6 days a week. M-Sat. I thought to myself this is good. Who wouldn't want to live with a pastor and learn about God sitting at his feet. Call it discernment or intuition, but I thought about it for a week and then declined. Now I think that this could be me that has disappeared. Yes innocent until proven guilty, but I don't think the tax payers should have to pay for his mistake. That is an injustice. If he cannot pay for this big shot lawyer and the lawyer will not do it pro bono, then he needs to step back and let the courts appoint him a lawyer.

Dec 13, 2015 12:48pm

2/3/16, 3:21 PM  
Blogger Cathy Palmer said...

The complete comment from Linda Sherman · FarmVille

I try not to judge and sometimes I do. I believe in "Innocent until proven guilty". I also believe in "Speedy trial" and I think over a year is NOT Speedy. This isn't about who he married, it's about "Did he murder his wife". The State must have enough evidence to arrest someone even if it's small items or a lot of evidence. This case shows me that if he had two wives but only let people know of one, then he knew he was not following his Ministry as he preaches and that makes me wonder what else is he hiding?

He has been arrested for killing one of his wives and this should be the item of interest. Did he, or didn't he. Did he report her missing? If not then why didn't he? Is he hiding even more things that would lead to killing her. Until he is proven guilty, then he will spend many years in Prison. I'm sure the State knows and all things will come out in his trial. All these negative comments....what if he DIDN'T?!!!!

Misty Claveloux, your comment shows the impact this man has made in your life!! You show mercy, love, prayers...a true Christian!! God Bless you.

Dec 5, 2015 3:32pm

2/3/16, 3:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Went to Mexico on a missions trip with him. When I heard vulgar language between him and one of his closer friends I began to question things and look a little closer. I began to feel something wasn't tight. We stopped going to Calvary about a year and a half before this happened. I sae his last sermon on the internet. He was giving excuses about taking care of family back in Arizona as the reason for leaving. Didn't think much of it at the time as I didn't know about Marie. Jason stood right there and let him tell a lie to the congregation about why he was leaving. Why is that?!? Mull that one over for a while. Saving face? We all need repentance in the worst way.

3/8/16, 5:30 PM  
Blogger believer said...

Well I guess we know now what happened: http://www.nwfdailynews.com/article/20160428/NEWS/160428849

5/19/16, 8:25 AM  
Blogger Cathy Palmer said...

Thank you for your post. All our suspicions were correct!

5/19/16, 8:41 AM  
Blogger believer said...

At least she can finally be laid to rest by her family and loved ones. RIP Marie.
http://www.nwfdailynews.com/news/20160429/human-remains-found-at-burial-site-arrest-report-photos-video

5/19/16, 9:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm glad to hear that Flanders finally confessed. I hope that this gives Marie's family some solace. Though the price Flanders is paying seems very light for the crime. This has been an interesting case to follow. I know the practice of polygamy is weird. But I know that Flanders associated with some Bible teachers (completely unrelated to Calvary Chapel) who openly teach that polygamy, prostitution, lesbian sex, and cursing are condoned in the Bible. One of those teachers practices polygamy himself. They've touted themselves as being among just a handful of men on earth teaching the "real" truth. It's an interesting aspect of this story.

5/27/16, 9:02 PM  
Blogger Cathy Palmer said...

Your comment brings to mind this passage from Romans 1
"For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;
Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them.
For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:
Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.
Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,
And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.
Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves:
Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.
For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature:
And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.
And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;
Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers,
Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents,
Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful:
Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them."

5/27/16, 9:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There is a guy defending James Flanders here, I guess. I came across this video. He became part of this group apparently.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uHJobtfnieU

1/20/17, 9:08 AM  
Blogger Cathy Palmer said...

Thanks for the link to the vid... I added it to the post. I can barely listen to this guy's sympathy for Flanders the murderer!

1/20/17, 10:05 AM  

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