- Paul Flores was convicted by a jury of killing Kristin Smart, a student at Cal Poly, in 1996
- Twelve jurors in a Salinas courtroom unanimously decided to find Flores guilty of first-degree murder on Tuesday
- Bringing an over 26-year-old San Luis Obispo case to an end.
Paul Flores was convicted by a jury of killing Kristin Smart, a student at Cal Poly, in 1996. Twelve jurors in a Salinas courtroom unanimously decided to find Flores guilty of first-degree murder on Tuesday, bringing an over 26-year-old San Luis Obispo case to an end.
After a total of four days of deliberation, the jury returned a verdict of guilty of wilful, premeditated murder for the 45-year-old San Pedro resident.
After reading the jury’s judgement in the Paul Flores case, Monterey County Superior Court Judge Jennifer O’Keefe said to them, “I wish to express to you and that of the parties our appreciation for your service in this case. Being a jury requires a significant personal sacrifice. You have always been exceedingly careful and diligent in this case.
Ruben Flores, 81, of Arroyo Grande, was cleared of being an accessory to murder after the fact by a different jury. He was charged with assisting his son in burying Smart’s remains.
O’Keefe addressed the Ruben Flores jury, “You are fulfilling an extraordinarily vital job in our justice system.” Accept our appreciation for your time and our effort.
The judge also informed Paul Flores’ jury that they were now free to discuss or refrain from discussing their discussions or judgement with anyone.
If you decide to talk about the case with anyone, O’Keefe advised being tactful in your comments.
Tuesday afternoon, as the jury’s verdict was announced, the atmosphere in the courtroom changed from tense and weighty to one of definite relief.
Stan Smart, Kristin Smart’s father, smiled as the verdict was announced.
After the verdict was pronounced, her mother, Denise Smart, who was crying, was embraced by him.
Officials from the San Luis Obispo County District Attorney’s Office and San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Office turned to the Smart family after the verdict was read and nodded together.
Following the reading of Paul Flores’ verdict, prosecutor Christopher Peuvrelle questioned O’Keefe regarding her intentions to break the gag order banning trial participants from discussing the issue.
According to the judge, she is thinking about keeping it in place until sentence. The gag order would be reviewed, O’Keefe stated Dec. 9 will see the sentencing of Paul Flores.
At 6 o’clock tonight, family and friends of Smart will congregate at Dinosaur Caves in Shell Beach to celebrate the guilty decision against Paul Flores with a music jam session.
KRISTIN SMART HAS BEEN MISSING SINCE 1996.
Flores, 45, was on trial for Smart’s murder, which occurred after an off-campus party on Memorial Day weekend in 1996. Flores was the last person observed with the Stockton freshman on her way back to her dorm.
Ruben Flores, 81, of Arroyo Grande, was on trial for allegedly aiding in the concealment of Smart’s body.
The “primary suspect” in Smart’s disappearance has long been Paul Flores. The story drew a devoted following over the years as it stretched on with seemingly little definite answers as to what happened to Smart.
Flores and his father were arrested and charged with her murder in April 2021.
The prosecution maintained throughout the trial that Flores attempted a rape before killing Smart.
In his closing remarks to the jury, the prosecution’s Christopher Peuvrelle declared, “Paul Flores is guilty as sin.” “Justice can be delayed without necessarily being denied. Now that you are aware of the facts,
In the meantime, Flores’ defence argued that there was “no evidence” that his client had killed Smart and that Flores was the victim of “conspiracy theories.”
During closing arguments, defence counsel Robert Sanger argued to the jury that Mr. Peuvrelle was attempting to prove a murder even though there was no proof of one.
On Monday, a jury decided on the charges against Ruben Flores; on Tuesday, a jury decided on the charges against Paul Flores.