Judge silences all parties in the Kristin Smart murder case

April 15, 2021


A San Luis Obispo County Superior Court judge on Thursday ordered all parties in the Kristin Smart murder case not to talk about the case publicly.

Paul Flores, 44, is charged in the murder of Kristin Smart, who has been missing since 1996. Prosecutors also charged Paul Flores’ 80-year-old father Rubin Flores on an accessory after-the-fact charge.

Paul Flores

During a hearing on Thursday morning, Superior Court Judge Craig van Rooyen ruled in favor of a motion for a protective order Paul Flores’ attorney Robert Sanger filed yesterday. Sanger argued the protective order was needed because of the publicity the case has attracted and the need to secure an impartial jury.

Sanger said goverment already compromised the case, and would continue to do so if not stopped.

Van Rooyen signed the proposed order barring the defendants, attorneys in the case or their agents, law enforcement involved in the case, witnesses and court staff from publicly discussing the case.

Neither Paul nor Rubin Flores entered pleas on Thursday. Van Rooyen then continued their arraignments until April 19.

Jorge Estrada

Never mind the bill board along Highway 101, where are they going to find a unbiased juror? Personally I suspect this trial will be held outside of SLO County. I would be exceedingly cautious at every step to assure a fare trial. Maybe in a racially diverse county?

Jorge Estrada

Early on, over 20 years ago, I was told that the person of interest was certain except for the needed cooperative evidence. Now the media and public the signage resemble poor behavior for the process of a fare trial, even saying fare trial is not a popular statement on this case. My fear is that lynching mob behavior could undermine a solid case???


Wish the judge had passed a protective order after Arata was charged.


The Sheriff’s office spent a decade preserving the presumption of innocence to ensure conviction. Dow gets the wheel and yaks to a gag. We should have a district attorney that has the experience of trying felons. If Dow has that personal experience, I haven’t found it. Share and comment if you know of any felony cases he has prosecuted himself.


Dan Dow has prosecuted hundreds (thousands maybe) of felony cases. However, I believe he has only tried one felony case in front of a jury.

Francesca Bolognini

High time they were told to stifle. Making such specific statements to the press regarding the alleged guilt of anyone is highly unprofessional. It creates a real possibility of completely blowing the case because, as the defense attorney stated, it interferes with the possibility of a fair trial. The lack of professionalism exhibited in this instance just astounded me. After all this time, we desperately need to get a good solid case, if one is to be had, without grey areas created by LE itself and the Smart family needs the cleanest possible closure. If they have the right man and the evidence for a solid case, let the jury decide, as is our law..

But, the whole topic of evidence begs the question: who keeps incriminating evidence around for a quarter of a century with the cops constantly reinvestigating? Hard to know which side is messing up worse here.


I thinks that’s a good move. Let the wheels of justice roll calmly while the Prosecution dots their I’s and crosses their T’s. Let the evidence be presented at the trial. No need to offer any fodder to this and end up like three ring circus known as blm, Tiana and the rest of the insurgent perps. The same ought to be ordered for them and their attorneys.


Whelp I guess it’ll be a while before we learn more about any of the new developments in this case. :( It’s been almost a quarter of a century with very few answers given to the public, so hey what’s a few more years…


It’s not going to take “years.”