Paul Flores allegedly said he knew what happened to Kristin Smart’s body

September 22, 2022

Paul Flores – Photo by Daniel Dreifuss, Monterey County Weekly

By KAREN VELIE

The suspect in the murder of Kristin Smart attempted to make a plea deal in 2003. Paul Flores would lead San Luis Obispo County law enforcement to her body in exchange for a minor sentence, according to the April 6, 2021 recently released arrest warrant for Ruben Flores.

Paul Flores is charged with murdering Kristin Smart during an attempted rape in 1996 following a Cal Poly frat party. His father Ruben Flores is suspected of helping his son dispose of Smart’s body, which prosecutors believe was buried under a deck at Ruben Flores’ Arroyo Grande home.

In 2003, Paul Flores’ attorney Melvin Andrew De la Motte met with Smart family attorney James Murphy to discuss a deal. Murphy then spoke with law enforcement about the proposal that offered to disclose where Smart’s body was in exchange for a minor charge such as an infraction.

“Murphy is unsure exactly where the discussions broke down,” according to the warrant. “Based on the dialogue with De la Motte, Murphy had absolutely no doubt that Flores knows the circumstances of Smart’s death, and the location of her body.”

Then in 2010, De la Motte met with former SLO County District Attorney Gerald Shea, and suggested he could work out a plea agreement, according to the arrest warrant.

“I just want to say one thing and I shouldn’t even be saying this, but if you come to me with an offer of an involuntary with only one condition and that is that he’ll take law enforcement to the body, then I can make that deal happen,” De la Motte told Shea, according to electronic notes Shea created in 2010.

A litany of plea options were discussed, though an agreement was never made.

“Considering the legal professionals involved, the extended timeline over which the dialogue took place, and the fact that the case had not been filed criminally at any point in time leads clearly to the conclusion that Paul Flores is criminally involved in her death,” according to the arrest warrant. “If he were not, there would be no such need for a plea in the first place.”

The warrant also describes multiple allegations that women have made against Paul Flores in the years since Smart disappeared:

In 1996, a woman whose name is not being disclosed, told investigators that “Paul Flores showed up at her residence in the middle of the night, rang her doorbell, and requested a hug,” according to the warrant. “She told him to leave and he proceeded to climb up to her balcony and pounded on her sliding door. The San Luis Obispo Police Department responded and removed Paul Flores from the property.”

During an interview in 1999, a woman told investigators that on three separate occasions while she worked at Garland’s Hamburgers in Grover Beach, “Flores put his hand between her legs and also attempted to pinch her breasts,” according to the warrant. “On one occasion, Paul Flores rubbed onions on her face while he pinned her to the ground for five minutes and sexually battered her. An additional employee at the same location, said that Paul Flores grabbed her breasts and buttocks unsolicited.”

On Jan. 17, 2007, a woman told Redondo Beach police officers she had been raped. While at a bar, the woman said she left a drink unattended. She later blacked out before waking up an unknown residence.

“The next morning, completely naked with only a blanket around her, the victim went to the hospital for a SART exam and police were called,” according to the warrant. “The SART xxam showed injuries to the victim’s rectum and vagina.”

In 2011, DNA collected during the SART exam matched Paul Flores’ DNA. The case was never prosecuted.

Deputies arrested Paul Flores and his father Ruben Flores in April 2021 for their involvement in the alleged murder of Smart.

The trial is ongoing. It is anticipated the defense will rest their case before the end of the month.


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aye-caramba

Sadly, this announcement is no “smoking gun” moment. Commonly, defense attorneys will pose “hypothetical” questions in private to opposing attorneys to entice their clients to do the right thing. It does not count as an admission of guilt as the defense will claim it was a “hypothetical” and runs to the issue of attorney-client privilege. Mr Delamotte did his job getting his client off, so don’t go after him. The burden of proof is on the prosecution. It will really come down to how the question was framed and context. I’d even challenge whether it would be admissable in court.


Michael A.

I think the Flores’ strategy is to drag this on until the senior Flores kicks the bucket and then Paul is on his own. Those two probably made this deal way back when things started to heat up.


Murse

If there is positive DNA that proves a victim was raped, why was it not prosecuted? That is insane.


Jorge Estrada

Excuse my yawn. Sounds like that scenario: if each step gets you half way to the fridge, you’ll never get there.


Eyes Everywhere

De la Motte is a real POS. I used to respect the guy.


NorthCountyGuy

It is an unfortunate fact the some police detectives are bottom-feeding dirtbags.