With a change in venue for the trial of Paul and Ruben Flores now official, some local residents have strong feelings about the case and whether or not it should be moved.
For locals who walk past a billboard dedicated to Smart in Arroyo Grande every day, the case is as fresh to them as it was 25 years ago..
“Definitely people that live here have an emotional connection to the case. We’ve been looking at the sign across the street for years. Those of us like myself who have four daughters, it definitely hits close to home,” said Arroyo Grande resident Dayna Nunley.
“It’s scary to think something like that could happen here and not be taken care of after this long afterwards,” said Eliana Nunley, also of Arroyo Grande.
In a case with so much attention locally and nationally, San Luis Obispo County Superior Court Judge Craig van Rooyen said he doesn’t feel the defendants would get their constitutional right to a fair trial in San Luis Obispo County, an idea that has locals split.
“I think that it would be better if they had it here locally because it is a local case so the people should speak for Kristin since Kristin isn’t here anymore,” said San Luis Obispo resident Marissa Garcia.
“One would like to think he could get a fair trial here, anywhere, anywhere,” said Rebecca Robinson of Arroyo Grande.
“I think it probably would be more fair If it was out of the area because there is such an emotional reaction when people do talk about the Kristin Smart case,” Eliana Nunley said.
The case is set to leave San Luis Obispo County but there has not been any mention yet of which county will take over the case.