NewsKristin Smart Case


Kristin Smart murder trial postponed Monday due to absent juror

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Posted at 10:09 AM, Sep 26, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-26 22:00:01-04

The Kristin Smart murder trial was put on hold once again Monday because a juror was unable to attend.

Court proceedings were set to start at 8:30 a.m. but after two delays waiting for an absent juror, Monterey County Superior Court Judge Jennifer O’Keefe announced that one juror called and said he would not be able to make it due to an emergency. O’Keefe then said the juror told her that he would be able to be back Tuesday.

O’Keefe discussed with the attorneys about possibly proceeding Monday by excusing the absent juror and having an alternate step in to take his place for the remainder of the trial.

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Monterey County Superior Court Judge Jennifer O'Keefe on Sept. 26, 2022

After that discussion, O’Keefe and the attorneys came to a conclusion that it makes the most sense to postpone the trial for the day and return Tuesday at 10:30 a.m.

Opening statements in the trial began July 18, a little over a year after Paul and Ruben's arrests in connection with Kristin Smart's disappearance from the Cal Poly campus in 1996.

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Monterey County Superior Court Judge Jennifer O'Keefe on Sept. 26, 2022

Paul is charged with the Cal Poly freshman's murder. His father, Ruben, is charged as an accessory, accused of helping cover up the crime.

For more then two months, the prosecution called numerous witnesses to the stand to testify before resting its case last Tuesday.

Once the defense is done calling people to testify, both sides will present closing arguments before both juries begin deliberations.

Paul and Ruben Flores in court Sept. 26, 2022

While Paul and Ruben are being tried together, they each have separate juries who will ultimately hand down separate verdicts.

If convicted, Paul faces a sentence of 25 years to life in prison. He remains in custody and is being held in Monterey County Jail during the trial.

Ruben is currently out of custody and faces a maximum sentence of three years in jail.

Judge O'Keefe has denied audio or video recordings of the trial so only still photography is allowed.