Paul Flores Wiki
Paul Flores Biography
The man last seen with Kristin Smart was convicted Tuesday of killing the college freshman, who disappeared from a California campus 26 years ago.
Jurors unanimously found Paul Flores guilty of first-degree murder, the San Luis Obispo Tribune reported. A jury in a separate trial found his father, Ruben Flores, not guilty on charges of being an accessory to murder for allegedly helping to hide the crime.
The conflicting verdicts were read moments apart in the same courtroom.
Smart disappeared from California Polytechnic State University over Memorial Day weekend in 1996. Her remains were never found.
Prosecutors say the young Flores, now 45, killed the 19-year-old during an attempted rape on May 25, 1996, in her Cal Poly dorm, where they were both freshmen. He was the last person seen with Smart as he walked her home from an off-campus party where she got drunk.
Her father, now 81, was accused of helping bury the slain student behind her home in the nearby community of Arroyo Grande and then digging up her remains and moving them.
Monterey County Superior Court Judge Jennifer O’Keefe thanked jurors for her service after the guilty verdict in the murder case was announced.
“I want to express my appreciation to her and her parties for her service in this case,” she said. “It is a great personal sacrifice to serve on a jury… He has been very thoughtful and conscientious throughout this case.”
At a post-verdict news conference, Smart’s father, Stan Smart, read a statement thanking the jury and all authorities involved in the case.
“This has been a harrowingly long journey with more ups and downs, but we are grateful and appreciate the diligence and energy of the two jurors in thoroughly reviewing the facts and reaching their decisions,” he said. “Our faith in the justice system has been renewed by their commitment and effort.”
He also thanked Chris Lambert, host of the “Your Own Backyard” podcast, for shedding light on the case and providing new information.
“Our family is comforted and strengthened by the knowledge that Kristin continues to be in the hearts and memories of so many,” he continued. “We can never personally thank everyone, but please know that our gratitude and love goes out to each of the toys that have been with us on this long, overwhelming and emotional journey. We will be stronger forever together.”
He ended his statement with a message for his daughter.
“Most importantly, to our Kristin: Nearly three decades ago, our lives were irreparably changed the night you disappeared. Know that your spirit lives on in each and every one of us, every day. Not a single day passes where you are.” “. ‘t missed, remembered, loved and celebrated.”
Kristin’s mother, Denise, added a short statement expressing her gratitude.
“I wanted to briefly add my thanks to everyone my husband spoke about and every person who has been the wind beneath our winds to get us to this day,” she said. “Thank you very much.”
The son’s defense attorney, Robert Sanger, had tried to pin the murder on someone else, pointing out that Scott Peterson, who was later convicted in a sensational trial of killing his pregnant wife and the fetus she was carrying, was also a Cal Poly student. in the time.
Paul Flores Suspect
Paul Flores had long been considered a suspect in the murder. He had a black eye when the investigators interviewed him. He told them he got it playing basketball with friends, who denied his account, according to court records. He later changed his story to say that he hit his head while working on his car.
However, the father and son were only arrested in 2021 after the case was revived.
Investigators have conducted dozens of fruitless searches for Smart’s body over two decades, but in the last two years they have turned their attention to Ruben Flores’ home about 12 miles south of Cal Poly in the Arroyo Grande community.
Behind the latticework under the roof of his large cul-de-sac home, archaeologists working for police in March 2021 found a coffin-sized soil disturbance and the presence of human blood, officials said. tax. The blood was too degraded to extract a DNA sample.