Prosecutors accuse Paul Fores’ attorney of sanctionable offenses

March 7, 2023

Kristin Smart


The San Luis Obispo County District Attorney’s Office accuses the lawyer representing a man found guilty last year of murdering Kristin Smart of sanctionable offenses, according to an opposition filed March 3.

A Monterey County jury found Paul Flores guilty last year of first-degree murder. Flores faces 25 years to life in prison.

Flores’ attorney Robert Sanger filed his 10th attempt to dismiss the case late last month. In his latest motion, Sanger accuses Deputy District Attorney Chris Peuvrelle of prejudicial misconduct and violating a court order.

Peuvrelle fired back with a detailed opposition to Sanger’s motion.

“The court has not erred, and the prosecutor has not committed
prejudicial misconduct, and the defense motion for a new trial should be denied,” Peuvrelle wrote in his opposition.

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

During the trial, Sanger argued that podcaster Chris Lambert and others had inserted themselves in the case and spread conspiracy theories. Peuvrelle refuted Sanger’s allegations during his closing.

“The prosecutor’s comments were in clear response to arguments by defense counsel, combating the claims that people had ‘inserted themselves’ into the case and conspired, through words and deeds, to convict Paul Flores,” according to Peuvrelle’s opposition. “This was a fair response and appropriate rebuttal argument.”

Paul Flores and Robert Sanger, photo by Dave Minsky

In his latest motion for a new trial, Sanger claims Peuvrelle 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, Peuvrelle asked, “Did it look that that woman was having fun?” Sanger wrote in his motion.

In his opposition, Peuvrelle argues Sanger’s motion does not provide the full text of his statement about the ball gag photograph.

If they had, the actual context of the statement would be clear:

Mr. Peuvrelle: But think about the dogs would have to be in on it. Remember when the handlers were on the stand and they were asked, do you speak dog? Now I know why that question was asked. It’s to prove that there was a conspiracy among the dogs.

Now I know why it was asked, Were your dogs friends? Because the dogs were able to get together and be part of the conspiracy.

And then the coup de grace was, the Prosecutor put all of these people up to it. Well, in 1996, when the dogs were speaking to their handlers and being friends with each other, I was a freshman in high school. It is so ridiculous, it is so absurd, you can reject it out of hand. And then Counsel said, Conspiracy theories are fun.

Okay, maybe you think it’s possible that everybody, the dogs, are in on it. Did it look like the woman with the ball gag in her mouth was having fun in this conspiracy theory.

Did it look like Sarah Doe was in a conspiracy, having fun. Did it look like Steve Fleming, proud man, he spent his life serving his country, was having fun being disrespected, with his words twisted around and thrown in his face?

Did it look like Margarita Campos, who was involved in a grand conspiracy, having fun with the conspiracy theory? Did it look like Jennifer Phipps was having fun in a grand conspiracy, who had held on to the guilt of waiting 26 years for this to happen when she did everything she possibly could to raise the alarm that Kristin was gone and this was not right?

Did it look like anybody was having fun? No. Because this is not a fun case. I apologize but you have seen things in this case no human being should see.

In his motion, Sanger claims testimony regarding the bathtub-style ring in the alleged grave and the cadaver dogs was based on junk science. Sanger also said the evidence of blood in the trailer was inadequate.

In his opposition, Peuvrelle calls Sanger’s allegations false and another example of the defense misrepresenting the nature of the prosecutor’s statements.

Peuvrelle then accuses Sanger of committing sanctionable offenses by knowingly making false statements.

“The defense motion makes repeated claims of misconduct that misrepresent their own arguments as well as the arguments made by the prosecutor,” according to Peuvrelle’s opposition. “Claims of prosecutorial misconduct should not be utilized as a sword but as a shield to ensure the right of a defendant to a fair trial.

“Unfortunately, the baseless allegations follow a pattern that has included the repeated denigration of counsel documented in the record, including in the defense closing argument in this case.”

Judge Jennifer O’Keefe plans to rule on Sanger’s motions during Flores’ March 10 sentencing hearing. If O’Keefe denies the motion for a new trial, sentencing will then take place immediately.

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Hmm , Ruben Paul’s dad found innocent of having anything to do with Kristin Smarts body . Yet Paul is guilty of raping and killing her , with no physical or DNA evidence . No witnesses …The prosecution presented case involving Ruben and Paul working as a team . One of the team members found innocent and one is found guilty …IMO the entire case is clown act … Using emotion and imaginary evidence to sway a conviction of 1 member of a imaginary team …All the violent cases that have involved SLO Cal Poly since it first opened is mind boggling . In 1985 Cal Poly SLO wrestler shot up a tent in Poly Canyon with a automatic rifle killing the camper inside .. Wrestler claimed he was squirrel hunting ….Reality he was out stealing weed from a grow ….he served 30 day sentence at SLO Sheriff honor farm

Flores’s lawyer, Mr. Sanger, will throw anything up, hoping something will stick, he will collect more fees, and get Flores off.

Flores was found guilty. You did the best you could, with a horrible situation and a disgusting client, but you lost. (You got the dad off, which was quite a feat in and of itself). Get over it. Quit embarrassing yourself and hurting the Smart family. Dragging this out only makes you look desperate and lowers your esteem within the community.