Monday, April 15

Paul, Ruben Flores trial underway in death of Kristin Smart

Opening statements began Monday in the trial of the man charged with the murder of Kristin Smart, the Stockton student who went missing more than 25 years ago, and his father who is charged as an accessory in her death.

Prosecutors painted a picture of the now 45-year-old Paul Flores hovering around Kristin Smart in the run-up to her disappearance at a 1996 college party and as having engaged in a pattern of non-consensual encounters with women.

Meanwhile, defense attorneys said Monday that their experts would contradict the prosecution’s arguments about forensic findings.

flowers is charged with the murder of Smart, who was a 19-year-old student at California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo when she went missingMay 25, 1996. His father, Ruben Flores, is charged as an accessory. Both men have pleaded not guilty.

Videographers set up outside Monterey County Superior Courthouse in Salinas pn Monday as opening statements set to begin in the trial of Paul and Ruben Flores in the murder of Kristin Smart.

The trial was moved from San Luis Obispo County after a judge held that widespread local knowledge of the case could bias potential jurors.

Prosecutors allege that Paul Flores killed Smart during an attempted rape in his dorm room at Cal Poly, where both were first-year students. They also allege Ruben Flores, now 81, helped bury the slain student behind his home in the nearby community of Arroyo Grande and later dug up the remains and moved them.

Paul Flores was the last person seen with Smart as he walked her home from an off-campus party where she reportedly became intoxicated.

Kristin Smart disappeared 21 years ago.

Witnesses: Flores showed interest in Smart before disappearance

In his opening statement, San Luis Obispo Deputy District Attorney Christopher Peuvrelle described witness testimony that Flores spent time in and around Smart’s dorm.

Prosecution witnesses said Flores asked about Smart multiple times at the party before her disappearance and spent time several minutes with her at a bar area, before approaching her outside the party as two students walked an incapacitated Smart home, according to Peuvrelle.

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