Paul Flores Was Convicted of Killing Kristin Smart, but His Father Was Acquitted!

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Paul Flores was found guilty on Tuesday of killing Cal Poly San Luis Obispo student Kristin Smart, putting an end to a mystery that had been going on for 20 years.

Even though Smart’s body was never found, Flores was found guilty of murder in the first degree.

His father was found not guilty of helping to kill someone. A second jury found that there was reasonable doubt that he helped his son cover up the murder by burying Smart’s body under his deck and keeping the remains there for years.

Smart went missing on May 25, 1996, after she and Paul Flores left a party and went to their dorms. She died in 2002. San Luis Obispo was haunted by her disappearance and the search for her killer. Billboards were put up to find her killer. The disappearance was told in a podcast about true crimes. It gave rise to a business of detectives.

Because of all the attention, the judge told the trial to be moved to Monterey County. Flores’ jury took eight days to decide, while his father’s jury only took three. The jury for Ruben Flores had to start over because one juror was kicked off after talking to his priest.

On December 9, Paul Flores could get 25 years to life in prison. As Robert Sanger left the courthouse in Salinas, he was questioned by the press.

After 25 years, District Attorney Dan Dow said, “The system has finally done right by Smart.”

“The disappearance of Kristin Smart in 1996 and the search for her had a big effect on her family and our town,” said Dow. “Justice isn’t denied just because it’s late.”

Stan Smart has been fighting for justice for his missing daughter for years, and he says the fight is not over. “Without Kristin, this duty isn’t fun or interesting,” he said. “After a long and hard journey, we now have faith in the justice system again.

Paul Flores Was Convicted of Killing Kristin Smart, but His Father Was Acquitted!

After his ankle monitor was taken off, Ruben Flores said that the case was “about feelings.” Flores said, “I didn’t get to talk to my son before he was taken away.” “I think my son’s problem had to do with feelings.” Their feelings about family and the girl who was missing took over.”

Deputy District Attorney Chris Peuvrelle said during the trial that Paul Flores raped or tried to rape Smart, killed her, and hid her body under his father’s deck. Peuvrelle says that in 2020, a neighbor saw strange things going on with a trailer. The prosecutor told the jury that was when Smart’s body was moved so that investigators could look into what happened.

Ruben Flores said that they were not true. “We have looked for you,” he said. “They tell me that she was buried at my house, which shocks me. They say, “I found her.” I turned 81 this year. I dig rarely.”

Peuvrelle said that Paul Flores was a dangerous man who drugged and raped women he lured to his home in Los Angeles.

In April 2021, Flores was arrested at his home in San Pedro. This was many years after he was named a person of interest in Smart’s disappearance.

Sanger says that jurors were told, “conspiracy theories that were not true.” He said that the prosecutors didn’t have proof like DNA or blood.

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Residents and the “Your Own Backyard” true crime podcast found witnesses and places to look into, he said.

Harold Mesick, Ruben Flores’s lawyer, said that this case was different from other murder cases because there was no hard evidence and the Flores had been “vilified” in San Luis Obispo over the years.

Mesick said this after his client was found not guilty: “He never should have been charged. The assumption that someone is innocent should be kept. People hate this man and his family.

Mesick thought that Paul Flores’ lawyer would use Ruben Flores’ verdict in an appeal. Officials at Cal Poly called the decision a “good turn of events.”

Cal Poly President Jeffrey D. Armstrong said it was “heartbreaking” that Kristin Smart had gone missing. “Everyone at our university hopes that today’s verdict will bring Kristin’s family peace.”

Peuvrelle said that Paul Flores, a Cal Poly student, “hounded” Smart for months. She said this because witnesses said he often went to see her, even in her dorm.

According to what was said in court, she came around 10:30 p.m. Others said she didn’t smell like alcohol, but after hanging out with Flores, she was seen with one drink before midnight. She slept on the grass for two hours. Peuvrelle said that her actions were caused by drugs.

Paul Flores Was Convicted of Killing Kristin Smart, but His Father Was Acquitted!

According to witnesses, Flores helped her get home when she and two others left. Prosecutors say that Flores told Smart he would help him get up a hill. He said he dropped her off near where she lived.

Mesick said that Flores “brought Smart back up” when she fell. Lawyer for the defense: “He was doing great.” He didn’t seek her.

Peuvrelle says that Flores went with Smart to his room. The prosecutor told the jury that four cadaver dogs went to the man’s room because his bedding “smelled like death.”

Without forensic proof that Smart was in Flores’ room, defense lawyers wrote off cadaver dogs as fake science. The prosecution says that Paul Flores talked to his father on the phone for seven minutes the morning after Smart went missing.

Peuvrelle said, “Only his father could help him with a dead woman on his bed.” “His call to 911,” Sheriff Ian Parkinson of San Luis Obispo County says that her family never saw her finish college, get married, or have children. He said, “So they keep suffering.”

Parkinson said, “This case won’t be over until Kristin is brought back.” “We’ve been loyal from the start, and I still am,” says no one. This is not forgotten. We’ll try again and again until Kristin gets home.”

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