NewsKristin Smart Case


Kristin Smart murder trial 'unexpectedly' continued to Thursday

Monterey Co Courthouse.jpg
Posted at 9:23 AM, Jul 19, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-19 22:26:56-04

One day into the murder trial for Paul and Ruben Flores, the wrap-up of opening statements and start of testimony has been delayed.

Court officials only cited the case was “unexpectedly continued” to Thursday based on a health issue, but could not elaborate.

Opening statements began Monday for Paul’s case.

Twelve jurors and eight alternates make up the 45-year-old’s jury and were seated inside the courtroom during those remarks while the jury for his father, Ruben, was absent.

The two are being tried together in connection with the 1996 disappearance of Kristin Smart from the Cal Poly campus but will each have separate juries and separate verdicts.

Ruben’s attorney, Harold Mesick, was expected to present his opening statement Tuesday ahead of the start of testimony in the case.

A time for Thursday’s hearing has not yet been set.

Paul, a longtime person of interest in 19-year-old Smart’s disappearance was named a suspect in the case shortly before his and his father’s April 2021 arrests.

Paul is charged with the murder of Smart and faces 25 years-to-life in prison.

His father, Ruben, is charged as an accessory, accused of helping cover up the crime.

If convicted, he faces up to three years in jail.

The trial was moved out of San Luis Obispo County and is taking place in Salinas. It's expected to last into at least October.