Paul Flores moved to prison in Kern County

March 31, 2023

Paul Flores


Authorities transferred Paul Flores on Thursday from custody in San Luis Obispo County to a state prison in Kern County, where prison staff will determine where he will serve his sentence of 25 years to life for the 1996 murder of Kristin Smart.

State corrections officials admitted Flores to North Kern State Prison, according to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. Located in Delano, North Kern State Prison is a medium-security facility. 

Following his April 2021 arrest for Smart’s murder, Flores spent most of his time in SLO County Jail. Flores was housed in Monterey County jail during his three-month trial. 

In Nov. 2022, a Monterey County jury convicted Flores of the murder of Smart. Then earlier this month, Monterey County Superior Court Judge Jennifer O’Keefe rejected a motion made by Flores’s attorney for a new trial and sentenced Flores.

During the sentencing hearing, O’Keefe told Flores he deserved to spend the rest of his life behind bars. Flores is ineligible for early parole and is required to spend at least 25 years in prison.

“Mr. Flores, you have been a cancer to society,” Judge O’Keefe said. “This predatory behavior has spanned your adult life.”

Flores murdered Smart during an attempted rape following a Cal Poly frat party. After the party, Flores helped escort Smart, who was found passed out on a lawn outside the party, back to her dorm room. She was never seen again.

The primary suspect in the case, Flores was sporting a black eye when interviewed by law enforcement, who determined he lied repeatedly. Even so, it would be years before deputies raided Flores’s home.

During a 2020 raid of Flores’ San Pedro home, deputies discovered multiple rape videos with titles including, “Drugged and raped while passed out” and “Blonde high school girl in skirt gets raped.” 

Investigators also found two bottles of date rape drugs in Flores’s home, prosecutors said. In a file labeled “practice,” Flores stored homemade rape videos of himself having sex and sodomizing women.

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“will serve his sentence of 25 years to life” is a misnomer. Under current California law, offenders under 26 when convicted, or over 50 will be eligible for parole hearings and possible release. He may do as little as five years! Hopefully the parole board will keep him there forever. But don’t count on it. This is California. Sorry.

Under current California law, the Elderly Parole Hearing is only available once the inmate has served 20 consecutive years and is age 50 or older.

Flores is 46 years old — he won’t be eligible for a hearing under the Elderly program until he is 66.