Flaiz sentenced to life in state psychiatric ward

Jonathan Theodore Flaiz

By Jessica Smith

Staff writer

HERMISTON — Jonathan Theodore Flaiz, 25, was sentenced to life in an Oregon psychiatric ward for the slaying of Mark Delmar Engelhart by Judge Garry Reynolds in Umatilla County Circuit Courtroom in Hermiston on Wednesday.

Flaiz rocked back and forth in his chair, but did not say a word during the sentencing hearing. Douglas Fischer, his attorney explained that the treatment for delusional paranoid schizophrenia has left the young man mute.

Flaiz had pleaded guilty by reason of insanity on Monday for Engelhart's July 2003 murder.

The Engelhart family reported him missing on July 25, 2003.

Flaiz and Engelhart worked together in a landscaping business, were friends, and their families knew each other.

Flaiz was indicted for Engelhart's murder in 2006, despite the fact the body had not been found.

Members of both Flaiz's family and Engelhart's family were on hand to make statements at the sentencing.

"This is a sad day, both for my family and for the Flaiz (family)," said Kevin Engelhart. "I feel sad this happened to him. I feel sad that this happened to my brother. I am still trying to understand why this happened."

Engelhart added the family was also sad that they couldn't provide a proper funeral and of a true place of burial for Mark Engelhart.

Engelhart's family expressed their hopes, many times over, that somehow his body will be found and returned to them for proper burial.

District Attorney Dean Gushwa stated that work was ongoing with investigators to find Engelhart's body, which is believed to be in Umatilla County.

"There is nothing I can say to express the loss that occurs when a life is taken though violence," said Reynolds, as he concluded the Wednesday's sentencing hearing.

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