Kristin Smart Bio, Kristin Smart Wiki
Kristin Denise Smart was an American woman who is presumed to have been abducted, raped, and murdered at the end of her first year on the campus of California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo
Kristin Smart was 25 years old.
DETAIL OF INCIDENCE:
A California man long suspected of raping and killing college freshman Kristin Smart, who vanished after attending an off-campus party at California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo, has been found guilty of first-degree murder, according to multiple outlets, including The New York Times and the Los Angeles Times.
After lengthy deliberations, the jury announced on Tuesday afternoon that it had voted unanimously when it found Paul Flores, 45, guilty of killing Smart, whose body has never been found.
His father, Ruben Flores, 81, was charged with helping his son cover up the crime. He was found not guilty, according to ABC News and KSBY.
The father and son were tried simultaneously but with different juries. On Monday, the jury for Ruben’s case came in with their verdict first.
The court had to wait until the jury for Paul reached their verdict to learn the outcomes of both cases since they were read in court simultaneously.
During the trial on July 18 in Monterey County Superior Court in Salinas, Calif., the prosecution laid out its case against the father and son.
CBS Sacramento reports that jurors heard testimony from Smart’s family and friends as well as three women who accused Paul of sexual assault as an adult.
In the early morning hours of May 25, 1996, Paul, a fellow freshman believed to be the last person seen with Smart, took her back to his dorm room where he raped her, San Luis Obispo County Deputy District Attorney Christoper Peuvrelle told jurors, The Tribune of San Luis Obispo reports.
Paul killed her, then enlisted his father’s help to hide her remains under a new deck they built at their Arroyo Grande home, prosecutors said.
Ruben, Puevrelle told jurors, “would tear down ‘missing’ posters of Kristin — tore down her smiling, beautiful face — called her a ‘dirty slut,’ all while her corpse was decomposing underneath his deck,” The Napa Valley Register reports.
Paul was questioned immediately after Smart vanished in 1996, and her body was never found, and she was declared legally dead in 2002.
Paul sported a black eye after Smart’s disappearance, which he initially said he got playing basketball and later, from bumping his head, the AP reported.
During the trial, Peuvrelle told jurors how four different cadaver dogs alerted authorities to the scent of a dead body near the bed in Paul’s dorm room, KSBY reported.
Over the years, authorities never gave up on the case, which led them to Ruben’s yard.
The prosecutor said samples taken at Ruben’s house, where a deck had been built, tested positive for human blood.
He said investigators believe Smart’s body was buried there and then moved.
He also pointed out that several women alleged that Paul drugged and raped them over the years.
Paul’s attorney, Robert Sanger, said those allegations have nothing to do with the Smart case, The Napa Valley Register reported.
In April 2021, Paul and Ruben were arrested and charged with Smart’s presumed death and disappearance.
Paul was charged with first-degree murder. Ruben was charged with accessory after the fact to the crime of murder.
Both pleaded not guilty to the crimes.
During the trial, Sanger argued that prosecutors had a weak case since they had no eyewitnesses and nobody had ever been found.
Ruben’s attorney, Harold Mesick, had said previously that authorities have scant evidence that his client buried a body in his backyard in Arroyo Grande, even though authorities say they found “biological evidence” there, the AP reports.
“It was a hot mess because it’s been previously excavated,” Mesick said, the AP reports. “If we even call it evidence, it is so minimal as to shock the conscience.”
The trial was supposed to take place in San Luis Obispo County, but a judge ruled in favour of a request to have it moved to another county to guarantee that Paul and Ruben would receive a fair trial, The Tribune of San Luis Obispo reports.