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Juror questioning phase wrapping up in Paul, Ruben Flores murder trial

Jury selection is expected to begin next week
Paul, Ruben Flores court 6-6.JPG
Posted at 1:42 PM, Jun 16, 2022

The trials for Paul and Ruben Flores, who are charged in connection with the murder of Kristin Smart, are still in the juror questionnaire phase.

The process began Monday in a Salinas courtroom where 1,500 people have been summoned.

This week, four separate groups of potential jurors have been filling out questionnaires. The court will then determine who will be moving onto the next round of jury selection, which is set to begin Monday, June 20, and continue through the end of the month.

While both Paul, charged with murder, and his father Ruben, charged as an accessory, are being tried at the same time, they will each have separate juries, meaning twelve jurors and eight alternates will be chosen for each defendant.

Opening statements are set to begin July 6 for the trial, which the judge has indicated could last into October.

Paul, a longtime person-of-interest in Smart’s 1996 disappearance from the Cal Poly campus, was arrested last April and charged with murder. He’s been behind bars since his arrest and is being without bail.

Ahead of his first Monterey County Superior Court appearance, Paul was transferred from the San Luis Obispo County Jail to the Monterey County Jail where he’s expected to remain for the remainder of the trial.

Paul Flores Monterey County mugshot.jpg
Paul Flores

Ruben’s arrest happened the same day, but he was allowed bail, and has been out of custody for more than a year.

Both father and son have been seen sitting side-by-side during their latest court appearances.

The trial will not be televised. Monterey County Superior Court Judge Jennifer O’Keefe has denied requests for audio and video recordings of the trial and is only allowing still photography.