Juror on Kristin Smart murder case talks with priest, dismissed

October 13, 2022

Ruben Flores and his attorney Harold Mesick, photo by Credit: Dave Minsky – Santa Maria Times


The judge in the Kristin Smart murder case dismissed a juror for seeking spiritual guidance about the case from his priest, and then ordered Ruben Flores’ jury to start their deliberations over with a new juror.

A female member of the Ruben Flores’ jury sent a note to Monterey County Superior Court Judge Jennifer O’Keefe saying that another juror had discussed the case with his priest. O’Keefe questioned the male juror, who claimed he did not discuss specifics about the case.

After determining the male and female jurors accounts clashed, the judge dismissed the male juror out of an abundance of caution.

Shortly before 3 p.m., Judge O’Keefe swore in one of five alternate jurors, and ordered Rubin Flores’ jury to start anew.

Paul Flores is accused of murdering Smart during an attempted rape in 1996 following a Cal Poly frat party. His father Ruben Flores is accused of helping to dispose of Smart’s body.

Each defendant has his own jury. After both juries are finished deliberating, the judge will read the verdicts back to back.

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At each stage of both trials , there is numerous grounds for an appeal . If there is any convictions

I wonder how long this trial would have lasted if all professionals involved in our court system (lawyers included) were fulltime salaried employees of the state? Just thinking of the extent taken to avoid any conflicts of interest among the jury.

That is an outlandish, skewed and warped idea; however I am not surprised at it’s suggestion…

Just as I thought, more money better justice.