Kristin Smart murderer Paul Flores seeking a new trial

March 1, 2023

Deputy arresting Paul Flores


Lawyers representing Paul Flores, a man found guilty last year of murdering Kristin Smart in San Luis Obispo in 1996, filed motions last week to dismiss the jury verdict and for a new trial.

A Monterey County jury on Oct. 18 found Flores guilty of first-degree murder. Flores faces 25 years to life in prison.

The latest two filings are attorney Robert Sanger’s 10th attempt to dismiss the case. In his latest motions, he repeats many of his past allegations.

“A motion for new trial should be granted in this case based on prosecutorial errors and the admission of junk science as evidence as well as the fact that the fact that there was insufficient evidence to find the defendant guilty,” according to the motion for a new trial. “The prosecutorial error constituted prejudicial misconduct, before the jury and the evidence admitted, as the urging of the prosecutor, resulted in a verdict that was contrary both to the law and to the evidence.”

Sanger requests the acquittal and new trial based on the following allegations:

Sanger accuses the prosecution of mischaracterizing the burden of proof by asking jurors to choose if the case was based on a conspiracy or if Flores killed Smart.

The prosecution deliberately misstated the defense’s argument during his closing statement.

The prosecution violated a court order regarding a photo of a woman with a ball gag in her mouth which was only to show Flores had the device. During his closing, Deputy District Attorney Christopher Peuvrelle asked, “Did it look that that woman was having fun?”

SLO County Sheriff Detective Clint Cole could not corroborate the testimony of Jennifer Hudson, who testified Flores had called Smart a “dick tease” and that he admitted to burying Smart.

The testimony regarding the bathtub-style ring in the alleged grave was based on junk science.

The testimony regarding the cadaver dogs was also based on junk science.

The evidence of blood in the trailer was inadequate.

The prosecution should have disclosed that Rhonda Doe, a woman who testified Flores had raped her, had attended Cal Poly in the 90s.

The court should not have permitted evidence and testimony of other alleged sexual assaults.

The court should have allowed testimony from people who knew Smart, but were not witnesses to the events on the night she was killed.

Kristin Smart

During the preliminary hearing, Sanger suggested that any number of men would have a motive to kill Smart as he attacked her reputation, life, past relationships and personal history.

Judge Jennifer O’Keefe plans to rule on the motions during Flores’ March 10 sentencing hearing. If O’Keefe denies the motions, sentencing will then take place immediately.

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“The court should have allowed testimony from people who knew Smart, but were not witnesses to the events on the night she was killed”

Soooo…the defense now is admitting that Kristin Smart was killed that night? I thought that she was just missing and Flores didn’t know what happened to her but now they are saying that she WAS killed that night…Good job defense team, you just admitted that you know she was in fact killed that night, something that only the killer would know…ha ha ha Sanger, you should just give it up already

Sanger is grasping at straws; he provided the best defense under the circumstances; it must be difficult to defend someone as evil as Flores.

I can’t help but wonder if a deal will be offered in exchange for the location of Kristins grave site.

as well as the fact that the fact”? Just getting those billable hours at this point…

The DA’s office did a good job in getting the conviction. Let’s hope the verdict is upheld.

There is no doubt that Flores received a fair trial. Endless obfuscation by Sanger is a waste of time and resources.