NewsKristin Smart Case


Defense identifies inconsistencies in testimony during Kristin Smart murder trial

Two students who attended Cal Poly with Kristin testified Monday
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Posted at 2:14 PM, Jul 25, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-25 22:21:00-04

Testimony resumed Monday in the trial for Paul and Ruben Flores.

The father and son are charged in connection with the 1996 disappearance of Kristin Smart.

While her body has never been found, in 2002, she was declared legally dead.

In April 2021, Paul and Ruben were arrested in connection with her disappearance. Paul, 45, was charged with murder. Ruben, 81, was charged as an accessory.

Paul was a student at Cal Poly at the time of Kristin's disappearance and witnesses say he was the last person to be seen with her.

The trial was moved out of San Luis Obispo County and is taking place in Salinas. Opening statements began last week before the first witnesses, including Kristin’s mother, father and brother, took the stand.

Monday, it was her sister’s turn to testify.

Lindsey Smart Stewart

Lindsey Smart Stewart, who now has three daughters of her own, talked about how close she and Kristin were growing up. Lindsey talked about how Kristin was almost like a second mother to her and said the family, especially the siblings, were very close.

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Paul and Ruben Flores in court July 25, 2022

She talked about her sister attending her swim meets growing up and how disappointed she was that Kristin wasn’t there for her eighth grade graduation. Lindsey was 14 when Kristin went missing in May of 1996.

Her testimony lasted less than 30 minutes with Paul’s attorney, Robert Sanger, asking her about two trips Kristin had taken to Hawaii the year before her disappearance.

Margarita Campos

The attorneys spent the remainder of the morning questioning Margarita Campos, a friend who lived next door to Kristin in the Muir Dorm at Cal Poly.

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Margarita Campos testified July 25, 2022 about the last time she was with Kristin Smart

Campos explained the two spent a lot of time together because Kristin didn’t get along with her own roommate.

Campos told the court that she and Kristin were together much of the day she disappeared. She said they attended an off-campus party together early that Friday evening before the two went their separate ways with Campos heading back to the dorm and Kristin looking for another gathering to attend.

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Defense attorney Robert Sanger points something out to Margarita Campos in court on July 25, 2022

Campos said she relives that day often and said she wishes they’d stayed together.

San Luis Obispo County Deputy District Attorney Christopher Peuvrelle asked Campos about some of the interviews she’d done with investigators and how she’d described Paul Flores as making her and Kristin feel uncomfortable when he was working at the campus market.

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Prosecutor Christopher Peuvrelle in court July 25, 2022

Both Paul and Ruben’s attorneys questioned her about her involvement with social media sites supporting the effort to bring justice for Kristin Smart and the podcast, “Your Own Backyard.”

Sanger asked if Campos wanted Paul to be responsible for Kristin’s death. Campos replied that she wanted whoever is responsible for Kristin’s death to be held accountable.

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Defense attorney Robert Sanger and Margarita Campos in court July 25, 2022

When court resumed Monday afternoon, two other fellow students who were at the party Kristin attended, testified.

Ross Ketcham & Cheryl Anderson-Manzer

Ross Ketcham and Cheryl Anderson-Manzer both interacted with Kristin at a party on Crandall Way near the Cal Poly campus.  

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Ross Ketcham

They both talked about seeing interactions between Paul and Kristin and both recalled them being intoxicated.  

Anderson-Manzer walked with Paul and Kristin from the party to near the dorms. She said Paul was holding Kristin around the waist to help her walk.

She also testified that Paul asked her for a hug and a kiss before she walked away on her own.

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Paul Flores in court July 25, 2022

Anderson-Manzer says she refused his advances and then left Paul with Kristin. It’s a decision she says she regrets.  

On cross examination, Paul’s attorney, Robert Sanger, was able to identify several inconsistencies in each of their testimonies compared to interviews they’ve given over the past 26 years.  

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Cheryl Anderson-Manzer is cross examined by attorney Robert Sanger on July 25, 2022

Court will resume Tuesday and then will be in recess until next week.

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Ruben Flores in court July 25, 2022

Kristin's parents, Stan and Denise Smart, were seated in the courtroom during their daughter, Lindsey’s, testimony.

Both Paul and Ruben’s juries were also in attendance.

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Prosecutor Christopher Peuvrelle, Paul Flores' attorney Robert Sanger, Paul Flores and his father, Ruben Flores, in court July 25, 2022

Even though the two are being tried together, they each have their own jury who will hand down separate verdicts.

Paul is charged with murder and faces a sentence of 25 years to life. Ruben is charged as an accessory and if convicted, faces up to three years in jail.