Jury selection underway in Paul Flores’ murder trial

June 14, 2022

Deputy arresting Paul Flores


More than 26 years after Kristin Smart disappeared from the Cal Poly San Luis Obispo campus, attorneys are selecting jurors in the murder trial of Paul Flores.

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. The 19-year-old was last seen in the company of fellow student Paul Flores.

Paul Flores claims he escorted Smart to her dorm, which was relatively empty because of the Memorial Day weekend, and then left.

After years of investigators amassing evidence and conducting interviews and searches, in April 2021, SLO County Sheriff’s deputies arrested Paul Flores at his San Pedro home and his father Ruben Flores at his Arroyo Grande home.

The court sent jury duty summons to more than 1,500 Monterey County residents. In the end, the court will impanel 40 jurors, which includes alternates.

Each defendant will have his own jury, which will listen to most of the trial simultaneously. The two juries will rotate between the jury box and the gallery in a trial expected to last between three and five months.

According to the “Aranda Bruton Rule,” a defendant’s 6th Amendment right to confront and cross-examine witnesses can be violated when a recorded statement made by a co-defendant appears to implicate the defendant if admitted in their joint trial. In a June 19, 1996 interview, Paul Flores made a statement that appears to implicate his father.

During a pretrial hearing last week, attorneys revealed a brief settlement discussion that occurred on May 24, but did not lead to a plea agreement.

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The prosecution is attempting to twist a statement Paul Flores possibly made into evidence to implicate his Father by using media as a court room .Ruben even if convicted faces either time served or a short sentence if found guilty .Prosecution is hoping by twisting Paul’s supposed implication of his father in the media …to turn father against son .The alleged statement might be stricken by trial judge as reaching and inadmissible evidence

I am interested in seeing evidence. I want the Smart family to finally have closure after all this time, but if it’s not enough to prove beyond a shadow of a doubt, justice for Kristin and her family may be lost forever.