Plea agreement discussed in Kristin Smart murder case

June 8, 2022

Kristin Smart

By KAREN VELIE

During a pretrial hearing on Monday morning for accused murderer Paul Flores and his alleged accomplice Ruben Flores, attorneys revealed discussions over a possible plea agreement with San Luis Obispo County prosecutors.

Ruben Flores’ son Paul Flores is accused of murdering Kristin Smart during an attempted rape in 1996. Charged with accessory after the fact, Ruben Flores is suspected of helping his son dispose of Smart’s body, which prosecutors believe was buried under a deck at Ruben Flores’ home and then moved to another location.

Shortly after the April 13 arrests of Paul and Ruben Flores, Smart family attorney James Murphy said that neighbors had witnessed Ruben Flores, his ex-wife Susan Flores and her boyfriend Mike McConville working under Ruben Flores’ home at 710 White Court in Arroyo Grande. A next door neighbor is expected to testify she saw the trio under the house.

On May 27, the neighbor called the Arroyo Grande Police Department to report that Susan Flores was attempting to dissuade her from testifying. The neighbor said Susan Flores was taking pictures of her 8-year-old daughter over a backyard fence.

Officers opened an investigation, a judge issued a search warrant for Susan Flores’ phone, and investigators searched the phone for photos and texts from May 20 through May 27.

Even though investigators did not find any photos, they did find a text discussing a possible plea agreement. The information was shared with the Flores’ attorneys.

On Monday, Paul Flores’ attorney Robert Sanger filed a motion to dismiss the case, arguing issues with the government’s handling of the case. Sanger accused SLO County Assistant District Attorney Eric Dobroth of seeking the search warrant to find text messages between Susan and Ruben Flores regarding the brief settlement discussion that occurred on May 24.

Dobroth said he had not conducted a “fishing expedition,” and his search of Susan Flores’ phone was limited to reading texts and looking at photos regarding the Arroyo Grande Police Department’s witness intimidation case.

Monterey County Superior Court Judge Jennifer O’Keefe ruled there was no government misconduct because the neighbor had made the initial criminal complaint.


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Everybody_Lies

I always thought throughout the history of this case that the DA should offer Ruben some sort of “sweehart” plea deal that he couldn’t refuse. Especially if it kept him out of prison. I think the prosecution would have a much better case with an accomplice (Ruben) that could rat out Paul and confirm a body WAS buried in his backyard. Perhaps even lead authorities to the body. With so many DA’s in California not prosecuting serious criminals to the full extent of the law, I would think that Dan Dow shouldn’t feel too guilty for letting off Ruben Flores in exchange for his vast knowledge of what really went down.


LinnieB

I feel sick to my stomach just thinking about them getting away with it again. Praying there is no dismissal. And the evidence is convincing enough to detain for years to come. IF the Truth is They are guilty!


retiredpoliceofficer

Believing someone is guilty of a crime and proving it are two separate things. Proving Flores committed the murder requires evidence beyond a reasonable doubt. The D.A. does not have that amount of evidence. They were probably relying on a biased SLO jury to convict.


Now that the case is in Monterey County they know or should know he is going to walk. Their in too deep now to dismiss,


jdchem

Objection! Speculation.


Adam Trask

Sustained, Mr. Mason.


Anyway, pardon the levity. I hope they get this creep. Too much smoke around him for there not to be a fire.


JamesStirling

They can prove their was a human blood under the deck of Ruben Flores’ home in a grave site. They also have an eye witness to an alleged confession by Paul Flores, four separate cadaver dogs alerting to his dorm room, a witness stating that McConville’s trainer was backed up to Ruben’s deck.


The prosecution doesn’t have an ironclad case, but they do have a case. I cannot see how the defense team can explain away the blood in the soil, and the fact that professional excavators/archaeologists will terrify that it was absolutely a grave site without a body.


IDBOUND

The prosecutions case is starting to unravel .Prosecutors are now pulling out all stops and attempting to create evidence that is false …It is unfortunate that Miss Smart has never been found and that no person will pay for her alleged murder or disappearance based on sound and proper evidence