Judge denies attempt to dismiss DA in Kristin Smart murder case

August 26, 2021

Paul Flores and Robert Sanger, photo by Dave Minsky

By KAREN VELIE

A judge ruled Wednesday that the San Luis Obispo County District Attorney’s Office will continue prosecuting the Kristin Smart murder case, denying a defense attorney’s motion to disqualify county prosecutors because of bias.

Paul Flores Flores is accused of murdering Smart, a student at Cal Poly, in 1996 following a party they both attended. Flores’ father Ruben Flores is charged as an accessory after the fact. He is suspected of helping his son dispose of Smart’s body.

In his motion to disqualify local prosecutors, Paul Flores’ attorney Robert Sanger argued that wearing purple items of clothing, Kristin Smart’s favorite color, by the prosecutor and several of the members of his team showed bias. Judge Craig van Rooyen said he understood the argument, but he did not agree it prejudiced the defendants, before denying the motion.

Judge van Rooyen did, however, grant a motion permitting the defense to review confidential personnel records of the lead detective on the case – SLO County sheriff deputy Clint Cole – in a search for evidence of misconduct or inappropriate communications with witnesses.

The preliminary hearing is expected to resume on Monday.


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Messkit

She had blond hair too! No blondies for the prosecution! And shooooes! Kirsten wore shoes, specifically women’s shoes! No shoes for the prosecution!


When one has to grasp for such slim straws, they already lost the case.


obispan

I don’t wear ties and I don’t wear purple, to date. But I would love to be a part of a crowd wearing purple head-to-toe (and purple face masks) outside the courthouse.


roy in nipomo

If the D.A.’s Office didn’t think the defendant was guilty, they shouldn’t be prosecuting. I would hope they are “biased” in all of their cases, otherwise they would be hounding folk they think are innocent.


IDBOUND

DA will probably continue to wear purple …it actually could undermine the DA’s case if some jurors in a future trial get the impression from DA’s blatant use of purple that DA will pursue the conviction of the accused no matter what the lack of evidence shows …When Mike Pence confirmed the Presidential outcome of the last election he wore a big fat bright blue tie ….I thought that was probably a little overboard on making a statement , I thought the color Magenta would have been a better in the middle choice color of tie