Kristen Smart’s killer, Paul Flores, will be sentenced today
Kristen Smart’s killer Paul Flores will be sentenced TODAY – 25 years after she disappeared on her way home from a party
- Smart disappeared in 1996 on her way home from a party in San Luis Obispo
- Flores was convicted last year of raping and then murdering her and hiding her body
- He is now 46 years old and faces 25 years to life in prison
Kristen Smart’s killer, Paul Flores, will finally be sentenced today, more than 25 years after her murder.
Smart and Flores were both students California Polytechnic University of San Luis Obispo when she disappeared in 1996. The case remained unsolved for decades, but in 2020. crime the podcast shocked the local police.
As a result, Flores, now 46, was arrested. Although police never found her remains, they believe Flores raped her in his dormitory and then killed her.
He and his father, Reuben, were both charged in connection with her death. Prosecutors say Ruben helped his son by hiding Kristen’s body under a deck in the backyard for years.
Flores is shown in an arrest photo taken in 1996 when he was 19 years old. He was convicted of Smart’s murder in 2022 and has a sentencing hearing on Friday
Flores’ defense team filed a motion for a new trial on February 24. A sentencing hearing will be held on March 10, when the judge will either sentence Flores or grant him a new trial
The couple is suspected of moving her remains when suspicions began to grow in 2020.
Flores was convicted of murder last October. He now faces 25 years to life in prison.
The trial was held in Salinas, Monterey County, about 110 miles (177 kilometers) north of San Luis Obispo, after the defense argued that the notoriety of the case prevented Flores and his father from getting a fair trial in their own county.
In October, a jury convicted Flores of first-degree murder. A separate jury acquitted 81-year-old Ruben Flores of accessory after the fact.
Freshman Christine Smart disappeared in 1996 after a party at a California college — and the prime suspect was convicted after a crime podcast helped solve the case
At Paul Flores’ trial, defense attorney Robert Sanger tried to blame the murder on someone else. Sanger pointed out that Scott Petersonwho was later convicted in a high-profile trial of murdering his pregnant wife and the fetus she was carrying was also a student at a college campus about 200 miles (320 kilometers) up the coast from Los Angeles.
Sanger filed motions Feb. 24 in Monterey County Superior Court to dismiss the charges and acquit his client. One motion also calls for a new trial.
Sanger contested the forensic evidence offered by the prosecution. He argued that Flores’ right to a fair trial was violated by prosecutorial errors and the “admission of unnecessary science into evidence.”
“There is a reason Paul Flores has not been prosecuted for 25 years,” the petition said. “There was no evidence of a murder or that Paul Flores committed it.”
The San Luis Obispo County District Attorney’s Office asked the court to deny those requests, arguing that “the claims of misconduct are without merit and the claims of a miscarriage of justice are incorrect.”
This is the evidence found in Smart’s dormitory at the time, shown in court
Sections of the Flores home that were investigated and used as evidence at the time