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Judge rules against defense motion to dismiss trial in Kristin Smart case

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Posted at 12:24 PM, Jan 21, 2022

The trial for Paul and Ruben Flores is still a go after a judge on Friday denied a motion by the defense to dismiss it.

The two men are charged in connection with the 1996 disappearance of Cal Poly student Kristin Smart.

In September, following a month and a half-long preliminary hearing, San Luis Obispo Superior Court Judge Craig van Rooyen ruled there was probable cause to move the case forward to trial.

But defense attorneys argued the judge's decision was based on insufficient evidence and that the prosecution relied on speculation and innuendo in presenting their case.

The prosecution countered that there was ample evidence presented and that they did not need to present a theory of murder at the preliminary hearing.

At Friday's court hearing, Judge Jacquelyn Duffy ruled in support of Judge van Rooyen's previous decision, saying based on the evidence and testimony presented during the preliminary hearing, she believes the judge had sufficient probable cause to hold the two men to trial.

Paul and Ruben Flores were arrested in April 2021, nearly 25 years after Kristin Smart's disappearance. She was last seen walking back to the dorms with Paul Flores after an off-campus party on the early morning of May 25, 1996.

Paul is charged with Smart's murder. His father, Ruben, is charged as an accessory after the fact, accused of helping hide the body, which has never been found.

The trial for the two men is scheduled to start on April 25, 2022.

Paul Flores has remained in custody at the San Luis Obispo County Jail without bail since his arrest. Ruben is currently out on bail.