Paul Flores wants evidence of sexual assault, murder sent to jail

December 9, 2021

Kristin Smart


Paul Flores, charged in the 1996 murder of Kristin Smart, wants prosecutors to provide a second set of discovery materials, which includes evidence described as rape videos, for his review at the San Luis Obispo County Jail.

At a hearing on Monday, Flores asked the court to order prosecutors to provide him with a second set of discovery materials. Discovery in criminal cases requires prosecutors to provide defendants with evidence obtained by authorities. Discovery is meant to give parties a complete picture of what evidence to anticipate in order to avoid trial by ambush.

The SLO County District Attorney’s Office already gave discovery to Flores’ attorney Robert Sanger. Generally, prosecutors are required to give the defense only one copy of discovery, which an attorney can then share with their client.

A deputy escorting Paul Flores from his home in San Pedro

Before Sanger can provide Flores with a copy, Sanger is required to redact specific information in order to protect witnesses in the case. With tens of thousands of pages and dozens of hours of video evidence, the review process would likely be extensive and time consuming. Instead, Sanger wants the District Attorney’s Office to redact the documents, with the county footing the bill.

Judge Craig van Rooyen discussed the issue with the attorneys in chambers on Wednesday. However, because of a gag order the results of the meeting are not public.

Smart, a native of Stockton, was nearing the end of her freshman year at Cal Poly when she vanished on May 25, 1996, after attending an off-campus party. Paul Flores, a fellow student, was the last person seen in the company of Smart, and for years was a person of interest in the case.

During a 2020 raid of Flores’ San Pedro home, deputies discovered homemade rape videos Flores made of himself having sex and sodomizing women, along with two bottles of date rape drugs. Deputies also seized multiple rape videos that included titles “Drugged and raped while passed out” and “Blond high school girl in skirt gets raped.”

Deputies arrested Paul Flores and his father Ruben Flores in April for their involvement in the alleged murder of Smart. Charged with being an accessory after the fact, Ruben Flores is suspected of helping his son dispose of Smart’s body.

Investigators testified that Paul Flores killed Smart during an attempted sexual assault.

After more than a month of testimony, van Rooyen ruled in September that there is probable cause for Paul and Ruben Flores to be tried in front of a jury in the alleged murder of Smart. The trial is scheduled to start on April 25, 2022, with a readiness hearing on April 6.


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So what is Sanger up to now? Sanger is in Santa Barbara. When your client is in jail it is a lot harder to defend them because you have to go to the jail to talk to them. Sanger gets about $500-600 ( maybe more) an hour. Although he only charges 1/2 of that for travel time he can’t be running back and forth to see Flores in jail going over tons of evidence,

HIs clients are mostly in Santa Barbara and Ventura. So, it’s a cost cutting measure that also allows Sanger to attend to his other cases. This is also why you want your clients out on bail. Sanger could send his Santa Maria investigator to meet with Flores but still a hassle and cost money.

Keep in mind that you also have to go back and forth to court, (if and when it’s not remote) and certainly for trial, plus you have the redaction issue which is up to the defense, If Sanger made the motion there probably is a precedent for it somewhere maybe on Jupiter or Mars. If the DA was required to do this for Flores he would have to do it from every inmate waiting trial. That is not going to happen, The system cannot support it,

Then there is another possibility, maybe Sanger wants Flores to review the evidence so Flores can tell Sanger what the DA has and cut down on some of the attorneys fees.

If I was forced to guess I would say this is about money, Flores and Sanger are both trying to keep the attorneys fees manageable because Flores may not have enough money to go through trial.

Flores already paid Sanger a couple of hundred thousand for the bad out come at the preliminary hearing, Sanger was counting on Flores walking at the prelim and it didn’t happen,

This case might get to trial on April 25th but it won’t be 2022. Try 2024. Then there is something else that’s strange. Why didn’t Sanger ask for a change of venue. Everyone in this County is prejudice against Flores and wants to see him fry,. How is he going to get a fair trial here. If Sanger would have moved for a change of venue (maybe he still can) the case would have likely gone to Santa Barbara County (Santa Maria). But it could have gone to Monterey Country a real travel time nightmare for everyone.

I think Bob is burning the candle at both ends he has to be in his mid-seventies maybe he shouldn’t be taking SLO cases anymore and trying to fit it in to his Santa Barbara/Ventura County practice, He probably sleeps 4-6 hours a night and is addicted to practicing law and can’t quit, God knows he doesn’t NEED the money,

It’s not as if Flores was clearly innocent and white night Sanger was swooping in to save the day.

Having said all that if I was charged with a serious crime I would beg Sanger to represent me regardless of the possible conflicts suggested above. I would have to sell my house to pay him and wouldn’t be his first client rendered homeless by defense fees,

He is the best but for how long? We have an appeals court judge in Ventura whose 84 and still getting the job done.

I see Flores being offered a deal somewhere down the line. It seems to me that most of the prosecution’s evidence is what he did to other women. That doesn’t prove he killed Kristen. This is the case from hell a trial would be an insane circus of circumstantial evidences 25 years old, no body, no weapon, no eye witness, no DNA. He should have walked at the preliminary hearing,

I’d offer him a guilty plea and 20 years out in 15 with 20 years of supervised parole. With any luck when he gets out one of these revenge guys we see on Netflix will rub him out,

The parents won’t be happy with that outcome but it will finally allow them some measure of peace,


Who is the staff person who will watch hours of home made pornography at taxpayers’ expense so Sanger can pursue his case?