Another week of the Kristin Smart murder trial wrapped up Friday with testimony from a woman who says she was raped by Paul Flores more than 10 years ago.
Paul and his father, Ruben, are on trial for the murder of Smart, who was a 19-year-old freshman at Cal Poly when she disappeared following an off-campus party in May 1996. Her body has never been found.
For the second day in a row, upset jurors prompted the judge to order a break during testimony Friday, but before that occurred, San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Detective Clint Cole took to the stand.
He was asked by San Luis Obispo County Deputy District Attorney Christopher Peuvrelle about an interview he did with Paul’s former girlfriend, Angie Carrizel, in 2021 regarding being “redirected” while at Ruben Flores’ home.
A recording of the call where she was interviewed by Cole was played in court. Carrizel can be heard saying, “they redirected me” … “Oh, you have avocado trees? Let me go over there.” Carrizel continues on, saying, “and they said no, you can’t go over there and they… redirected me to go somewhere else in the house.”
Paul’s attorney, Robert Sanger, had no further questions for the witness, but Ruben Flores’ attorney, Harold Mesick, asked Cole if he was aware Carrizel and Paul were engaged. Cole replied saying he recalled they were dating. Mesick then asked Cole about whether he was aware that Paul and Carrizel were headed to Susan Flores’ home at the time and that they were late for a dinner party. Cole said yes.
Next up was Sarah Doe, who appeared nervous on the stand.
Peuvrelle asked Sarah about being at the Crimsin bar in San Pedro in the spring of 2011 and showed her photos of the bar. Sarah said she recognized them and added that she went to the bar that night with a female friend.
Sarah said there were not many people at the bar, calling it “very empty,” but said Paul Flores was there and identified him in the courtroom Friday. “He’s right there, wearing a suit and blue tie,” she stated while appearing somewhat emotional.
Regarding that night at the bar, Sarah testified, “Every time I would look up, I would notice… him looking towards our direction.” She stated that at one point, Paul approached her.
She says she and her friend went outside at times to get a cigarette and would leave their drinks at the bar. Sarah said it wasn’t until “more towards the end of the night” when she noticed Paul outside as well.
Sarah said Paul bought her and her friend drinks and they had a few minutes of “friendly talk” and “regular conversation” at the bar.
Sarah describes it as a random night, saying she didn’t usually go out on weekdays and didn’t expect to go out that night.
Sarah went on, first pausing to tell the court she was nervous, to describe when a fight broke out that night causing her and her friend to be pushed out of the bar.
“I don’t really remember a lot of things” from that point on, Sarah testified.
She says she does remember rushing to her car because of the fight and its proximity to her car. Sarah says she, her friend, a friend of her friends and also Paul got into her car to move it and “from there it just gets kinda foggy,” she testified, adding that she doesn’t remember how her friend got home.
Sarah says the last thing she remembers is being parked across the street from Paul’s house and seeing a lot of bushes.
“I do remember seeing a white car but that’s about it,” Sarah said while on the stand. “I recognized the street.”
Sarah said she had four to five drinks over a period of about four hours that night, adding that she has had a similar number of drinks both before and after that night and her memory has never been as foggy as it was the night she met Paul at the bar.
She continued testifying, describing being at Paul’s house and noticing “a lot of things in his house just kinda piled everywhere.”
She says she was confused as to why Paul invited her over if his house was so dirty, using the word “hoarding.”
Sarah told the court that Paul gave her something to drink as she just stood there “shocked” as to how many things were in the house, adding that she believes she drank the drink Paul gave her, but said she doesn’t think it was alcoholic.
After that, she said, “I just kept going in and out of it but I just remember being in his bedroom,” … “Him on top of me.”
Wiping away tears, Sarah continued, “I couldn’t really… I just remember him on top of me,” … “He was penetrating me.”
She continued describing the events that unfolded after, saying she did not consent to the sex and that “I wasn’t really processing what was going on.”
Sarah says “it went on for a while” and that she also remembers at one point wanting to take a shower to wake herself up. “It kind of just meshes all together so I don’t know what happened first,” she said. “I just remember flashes throughout the years.”
While in the shower, she says, “It was more penetration,” telling Peuvrelle, when asked, that it was not consensual.
While still on the stand, Sarah described other memories, saying, “At one point he (while referring to Paul) did try to gag me but I was screaming and then I do remember someone… there was somebody else there too who was talking to him.” She says she doesn’t remember who that was and continued describing Paul’s attempt to gag her. “I was screaming… I couldn't breathe,” she testified.
Sarah says Paul eventually gave up, she thinks, because she was moving around too much.
She continued describing the events of that night into the next morning.
“I got up to start changing. I didn’t say anything to him I just wanted to leave,” Sarah said, adding that Paul got up at the same time but that he did not say anything.
In the morning when she went to leave, Sarah says Paul tried to say goodbye to her, noting that it had been pretty quiet until they got to the door.
Sarah says she told Paul, “When someone tells you no, you know, it means no.” Sarah says Paul looked down and said “OK,” adding that she thinks “he understood.”
“I was still so confused from the whole night,” she testified. “I felt bruises on my arms, my legs, and I felt really sore for a couple days.”
Sarah says Paul texted her a day or so after, thinking he probably had her number from the night they met. “I think I might’ve just said, you know, leave me alone, but I don’t remember exactly what I said,” she testified.
Sarah says after that, she would run into Paul randomly, including a couple years later at the bar. “I left. I was still with the same friend from that night,” she told the court, adding that Paul also stopped by her work once.
Sarah says she did not initially report the incident to law enforcement saying she was really confused from that night. She said a couple years later she tried reporting it to authorities, but “They kept asking me questions and I just kept saying ‘I don’t know’,” Sarah said, adding, “I gave up after a while.”
In June of 2021, Sarah says she met with Detective Cole and another investigator and was shown a photo lineup.
She was reportedly asked, “Did you see the person in that lineup who did this to you?” Sarah says she replied, saying, “I did.” The lineup shown to Sarah in 2021 was then shown in court before Monterey County Superior Court Judge Jennifer O’Keefe ordered a break. At the time, multiple jurors for both defendants could been seen crying and passing tissues around on more than on occasion.
Once back on the stand, Peuvrelle wrapped up his questioning of Sarah before Sanger began his cross-examinization.
He showed Sarah the lineup again she was shown on June 29, 2021.
“You did not report the crime to law enforcement back at the time you had the encounter, correct? Sanger asked. Sarah responded, “correct.”
“It was a few years later you saw Pau Flores was a person of interest in the Kristin Smart case, right,” Sanger asked again. Sarah responded by saying yes, adding that “It might’ve been before, I’m not sure exactly.”
After more discussion on when she made the report, Sanger asked if she remembered posting pictures of bruises in February 2012. Sarah replied, “no.”
As cross examination continued, Sanger told Sarah, “In your Facebook throughout 2011, 2012, just about every picture is a picture of alcohol, you drinking alcohol.”
Sarah replied, “Yes, I barely started going out that year” and later said she started going out more toward the end of the year.
Sanger presser her more about pictures of bruises and drinking glasses she reportedly posted before asking Sarah about news coverage of Paul Flores.
Sanger questioned Sarah about her getting to her car the night she met Paul at the bar. “I don’t remember a lot of things from that night,” Sarah testified, while continuing to describe how many people there were at the time and other things she does or does not remember from the night.
Sarah testified that she did tell her friend about her encounter with Paul before saying she heard about the podcast, “Your Own Backyard” but never listened to it or read about it. She says she “tried to avoid it.”
“So it was more talking to other people about what they’d seen in the media about the case?” Sanger asked. “No, I don’t talk to anyone about the case,” Sarah replied.
“So you did talk to people but now you’re saying you didn’t talk to people,” Sanger asked?
Sarah said she only talked to her “two best friends” before also telling Sanger that it was years after her encounter with Paul that she’d seen Paul was a person-of-interest in the disappearance of Kristin Smart.
Mesick did not have any questions for the witness.
Before court ended for the day, San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Detective James Camp took the stand, showing an aerial view of part of San Pedro and described the Crimsin bar and it’s proximity to Paul’s house, noting it was 1.7 miles away.
Peuvrelle also showed photos of Paul’s house in West Upland.
Court will not be back in session until Wednesday, Sept. 7.
While the trial was initially expected to last into October, Monterey County Superior Court Judge Jennifer O'Keefe on Friday said things are running ahead of schedule.
Paul and Ruben Flores were arrested in April 2021 in connection with Kristin Smart's disappearance.
Ruben posted bail and has been out of custody since shortly after his arrest. Paul was denied bail and is being held in Monterey County Jail during the trial, which was moved out of San Luis Obispo County and is taking place in Salinas.
Mustang News reporter Nicolás Viñuela contributed to this report.