PAUL Flores and his father, Ruben, have both pleaded not guilty in the alleged murder of 19-year-old college student Kristin Smart.
The younger Flores was charged with first-degree murder after being arrested last week for the 1996 case, while his father was charged as an accessory.Paul Flores is suspected of murdering Kristin Smart[/caption] Ruben Flores was charged as an accessory[/caption] Kristin Smart disappeared in 1996[/caption]
San Luis Obispo County District Attorney Dan Dow said that he believes Paul Flores, 44, committed the murder during an attempted rape over Memorial Day Weekend in 1996.
The younger Flores was reportedly the last person to see 19-year-old Smart before she disappeared.
He had offered to walk her home from an off-campus frat party at California Polytechnic State University.
Smart never made it home that night, and was reported missing three days later.Flores was reportedly the last person to see Smart alive[/caption] Police have long suspected Flores in the teen’s disappearance[/caption] Authorities believe the older Flores helped his son dispose of the body[/caption]
During a press conference last week, prosecutors explained that they believe the younger Flores killed her during an attempted rape, but would not say how or where they believed the alleged murder took place.
They did say the suspect’s “dorm room” on the California campus was a “crime scene.”
Prosecutors also said they believe Ruben Flores, now 80, helped his son dispose of Smart’s remains and cover up the crime scene.
Smart was found passed out on a lawn on the day of her disappearance around 2.30am, and several students had attempted to wake her.
It was then that Flores offered to walk her home. Police have suspected him from the start.The pair appeared in court via Zoom on Monday[/caption]
Flores, who was also 19 at the time of Smart’s disappearance, claimed that he walked her back to her down and dropped her off around the block from it.
He then went back to his own dorm on the same campus, he said.
Police have long questioned the suspect’s account of the night’s events, and recently acquired evidence put them in position to make the arrests.
“Significant information has come in over the past two years, and in the past month … We believe there’s a location where Kristin Smart was taken,” DA Dow said last week.
The Flores pair first appeared in court on Thursday, but their attorneys requested that the arraignment be postponed until Monday afternoon.
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The request was approved by the judge, as was a protective order due to the high-profile nature of the case.
That protective order prevents agencies involved in the case, including the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Office, from releasing documents or discussing items of evidence with the media.
Paul Flores is currently being held without bail, while his father is being held on a $250,000 bond.