Closing arguments against Paul Flores begin in Kristin Smart murder trial




  • In US
  • 2022-10-03 16:44:08Z
  • By San Luis Obispo Tribune

Closing statements in the Kristin Smart murder trial began Monday - marking the end of a lengthy trial for a crime alleged to have occurred 26 years ago.

Paul Flores is alleged to have killed Smart after an off-campus Cal Poly party on May 26, 1996. He has been on trial in Salinas for more than three months with his father, Ruben Flores, who is accused of helping his son hide Smart's body.

The fate of the two men will be decided by two separate juries.

Paul Flores is on trial for felony murder in the commission of a rape - a first-degree offense, even if the victim's death during the rape was negligent or accidental.

Jurors must come to the same conclusion to convict him of this offense, or they must agree on a different verdict, which can be premeditated first-degree murder, felony murder in the commission of an attempted rape, second-degree murder or an acquittal.

Kristin Smart
Kristin Smart  

Monterey County Superior Court Judge Jennifer O'Keefe also instructed that jurors must first decide if Paul Flores raped the two women who testified in court about their alleged assaults before they consider their testimony as evidence.

"You must decide what the fact are. It's up to you and you alone," O'Keefe told Paul Flores' jurors Monday.

San Luis Obispo County public officials, including District Attorney Dan Dow and Sheriff Ian Parkinson, were present in the courtroom with media outlets and members of the public.

Friends and family of the Smart family filled the courtroom and overflow room, and Susan Flores, mother of Paul Flores and ex-wife of Ruben Flores, was in also in attendance with some friends or family.

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