Paul Flores’ assailant murdered previous cellmate, the I-5 Strangler

October 19, 2023

Deputy arresting Paul Flores in 2021


Jason Budrow,  a prisoner who killed a former cellmate, allegedly attempted to kill Paul Flores in late August at Pleasant Valley State Prison. Flores is serving a 25 to life sentence for the 1996 murder of Kristin Smart, a coed at Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo.

Prison staff put Flores in a yard with Budrow and other inmates less than a week after he arrived at the prison in Colinga. At approximately 10 a.m. on Aug. 23, Budrow allegedly approached Flores from behind and attempted to cut his throat. Flores, who raised an arm to block the assault, suffered a wound to one side of his neck.

Flores fell to the ground between the recreational yard and the medical clinic, according to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR). Guards ordered everyone to the ground and summoned medical staff.

Budrow was standing nearby “with a manufactured weapon,” according to the CDCR. The suspect quickly surrendered.

After a two-day stay at a hospital in the Fresno area, Flores was returned to prison.

Jason Budrow

Budrow, a self-described satanist who has “666” tattooed above his right eye, has a bizarre criminal history. In 2004, he was convicted of sexually assaulting a 14-year-old girl.

In 2010, Budrow murdered his girlfriend at his trailer home in Riverside County. At the time, he believed she was a police informant. He put her body in the trunk of his car and drove her to a sheriff’s substation.

In 2021, Budrow killed the “I-5 Strangler,” the first day they became cellmates at Mule Creek State Prison. Budrow confessed to killing 81-year-old Roger Kibbe “with a triangle choke hold.”

Kibbe was a serial killer and rapist who killed eight women between 1977 and 1987.

Budrow wrote a five-page letter to The Mercury News in 2021, saying he was moved by “a dark omen and spiritual calling” to kill Kibbe. In killing Kibbe, Budrow said he released the souls of Kibbe’s victims.

While incarcerated, on April 4, 2022, Budrow was sentenced to another consecutive life term, without the possibility of parole.

Budrow, 43, remains in Pleasant Valley State Prison. The CDRC recently finished their investigation into the attempted murder of Flores and sent the information to the Fresno County District Attorney’s Office.


Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Strange. In the past CDCR procedure has been to “single cell” an inmate that has murdered or seriously assaulted his/her cellmate in the past. Obviously Budrow will do several months of AdSeg (isolation) time. He will likely return to general population eventually, as last I checked murdering your cellmate was not an offense that warrants permanent confinement to a segregation unit (as there are quite a few “murderers” on the mainline). At most he should be assigned single-cell status while on the mainline.

If we released all prisoners with the agreement to be relocated in Gaza, Palestine. The money we would save can help fund Israel. Just saying, Gaza a place with cultural change and a different version of the star spangle banner might be a win win.

No sugar at breakfast today, a different opinion / question, maybe this was an inside job that failed?

flores should feel terror every minute of every day for the rest of his miserable life.

Why is Budrow in the general prison population? To me, it seems logical that if he killed a previous cellmate he would be housed in a segregated unit. I have no empathy for Paul Flores and he deserves to be in prison.

Probably over crowding??

If there is an over crowding issue with people like Budrow then clearly we need more prisions.

It isn’t an overcrowding problem; in fact, there are plans to close CMC. Most prisoners get out early and Paul Flores could be eligible for parole in the next five years as he “ages out.” Disgusting.

Good question. Remember this and other things happening in this state when you vote the next time. Elections do matter and your vote counts.

91 percent of inmates have violent crime convictions and the attempt happened in a yard not a cell. We can’t build a separate prison for every convicted murderer, there are 33,000 inmates serving life sentences, the worst of the worst.

Sounds like Budrow is not happy with the overcrowding and is doing us all a favor.I say keep him in GP.