NewsKristin Smart Case


Former Kristin Smart classmate cross examined as court resumes Tuesday

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Posted at 1:56 PM, Aug 02, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-03 20:30:48-04

The Kristin Smart murder trial resumed Tuesday with cross examination of Steven Fleming, a former classmate of Kristin Smart.

The 19-year-old freshman went missing over Memorial Day weekend in 1996 after leaving an off-campus party.

Witnesses said Paul Flores was the last person to be seen with her. He was a longtime person-of-interest in the case prior to his and his father’s April 2021 arrests.

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Paul and Ruben Flores in court on Tuesday, Aug. 2, 2022.

Paul was charged with murder in connection with Smart’s disappearance. His father, Ruben, was charged as an accessory, accused of helping cover up the crime.

Steven Fleming

As court began for the day Tuesday morning, Paul’s attorney, Robert Sanger, asked Fleming about his friendship with Kristin as well as his attraction to Kristin's former roommate.

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Steven Fleming is cross-examined by defense attorney Robert Sanger on Tuesday, Aug. 2, 2022.

Sanger pressed Fleming about his knowledge of Paul leading up to Kristin's disappearance. Fleming, while at times appearing to become frustrated, said he knew of him, but did not know Paul by name.

Fleming also recalled speaking with multiple other female students before publicity surrounding Paul Flores began surfacing. Fleming testified that the other students told him Paul "made them feel weird."

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Steven Fleming continues testifying on Tuesday, Aug. 2, 2022, during the Kristin Smart murder trial.

Fleming could not provide Sanger with any details about what they said or when the conversations happened.

Sanger also asked Fleming if he remembered telling the FBI last year that he was not 100 percent sure that Paul Flores was guilty after saying the opposite during his testimony in court on Monday.

Referencing another interview Fleming had with the FBI in 1999, Sanger questioned Fleming on whether he recalled telling agents he had seen Paul in Kristin's dorm room up to six times during winter quarter of 1996.

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Steven Fleming testifies Aug. 2, 2022 during the Kristin Smart murder trial

Sanger asked Fleming how he knew about this information since Fleming may have not been living in Muir Hall at the time and since none of Kristin's other friends from college told investigators they had seen Paul in her room.

Fleming said he did not recall.

During cross examination from Ruben Flores' attorney, Harold Mesick, he persistently asked Fleming why he had not come forward to authorities immediately following Kristin’s disappearance.

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Ruben Flores' defense attorney, Harold Mesick, in court on Tuesday, Aug. 2, 2022.

Fleming replied that from an early age, he had a fear and distrust from police, and was taught to not speak with them. He admitted that his silence on the investigation made him feel like a bad friend.

Sanger then continued his cross examination, asking Fleming if he remembered telling the FBI that he thought Kristin and Paul were dating. Fleming said that he did not recall.

Another witness to take the stand Tuesday was former Cal Poly student Matthew Toomey.

Matthew Toomey

While being questioned by San Luis Obispo County Deputy District Attorney Christopher Peuvrelle, Toomey was asked to recall details about the house party on Crandall Way the night Kristin disappeared.

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Former Cal Poly student Matthew Toomey testifies Aug. 2, 2022

Toomey testified that Kristin approached him and his then roommate, Ross Ketcham, at the party where he says Kristin told Toomey that she thought Ketcham was attractive and asked if he had a girlfriend.

After this interaction, Toomey then informed the court that Paul Flores came up to him to ask about his previous conversation with Ketcham and Kristin. Toomey testified that he had not known or spoken to Paul before the night of the party.

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Former Cal Poly student Matthew Toomey testifies Aug. 2, 2022

When leaving the party, Toomey said he recalled seeing Kristin laying on the lawn outside of the Crandall Way house. He said he had asked her if she needed help getting home, but that Kristin rejected the offer and told him to leave her alone.

The final person called to testify Tuesday was Trevor Boelter.

Trevor Boelter

With just five minutes left before court adjourned for the day, Peuvrelle said he wanted to get started on Boelter's testimony.

Boelter told the court he was a sophomore at Cal Poly in the spring of 1996 and lived on Toro and Mill streets in San Luis Obispo.

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Former Cal Poly student Trevor Boelter testifies at the end of the day Aug. 2, 2022

He then talked about a party he attended on Crandall Way in May 1996, saying he arrived after 10:30 p.m. and did not go with anyone.

Boeltor said that at the party, a tall girl came up to him, kissed him and took him into the bathroom. He identified that person as Kristin Smart.

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Former Cal Poly student Trevor Boelter testifies at the end of the day Aug. 2, 2022

Boeltor will be back on the stand Wednesday morning.

The trial, which is expected to last into October, is taking place in Salinas after being moved out of San Luis Obispo County.

If convicted, Paul faces a sentence of 25 years-to-life behind bars. Ruben faces a sentence of three years in prison.

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Paul Flores looks at his father, Ruben Flores, in court on Tuesday, Aug. 2, 2022.