New Paul Flores trial date set, no county yet selected

April 5, 2022


Paul Flores’ trial on charges he murdered Kristin Smart in 1996 in San Luis Obispo is scheduled to start on May 31, even though a location for the trial is not yet known

On Monday, Paul Flores’ attorney Robert Sanger agreed to waive time for 60 days, meaning the trial needs to start by June 11 to protect the defendant’s right to a speedy trial. SLO County Judge Craig van Rooyen granted Paul Flores a change of venue last week, because he did not believe the defendant could get a fair trial in SLO County.

The Judicial Council of California will now select which county, likely Monterey or Kern, will hold the jury trial. At an April 20 hearing, Judge van Rooyen is slated to select the receiving county. It has not yet been determined if van Rooyen or another judge will preside over the jury trial.

Smart 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.

Deputies then arrested Paul Flores and his father Ruben Flores in April 2021 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.

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Has anyone asked the powers that be what will happen after all of this money is spent trying to convict Paul Flores if he escapes a guilty verdict…it sure will be painfully sad for the Smart family and us to watch him and his family sue for millions of CA tax dollars…

So, ostensibly this will help Paul Flores get a fair trial. The far more important question is will Kristin Smart get a fair hearing and justice?

One may wonder, if the trial is in a mountainous county, primarily national forest and or national parks where people routinely disappear with no trace?

I guess the safe approach will be to let the date select the available court?