NewsKristin Smart Case


Paul Flores' jury absent from court Friday

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Posted at 12:09 PM, Oct 14, 2022
and last updated 2022-10-14 20:48:29-04

Jury deliberations continued Friday in the Kristin Smart murder trial but only for one jury.

The jury assigned to Paul Flores’ case was not deliberating Friday, according to court officials. They would not provide information as to why or say whether a verdict in Paul’s case had been reached but did say his jury is scheduled to return to the courthouse on Monday.

Ruben Flores’ jury was, however, said to be deliberating Friday.

Those ongoing deliberations come a day after one of the jurors assigned to the 81-year-old’s case was excused by the judge Thursday after admitting he asked his priest for guidance over the case due to the stress he said it was having on him.

An alternate was selected to take his place on the 12-member jury and the judge instructed jurors to start over with their deliberations.

Paul and Ruben are on trial in connection with the May 1996 of Kristin Smart from the Cal Poly campus.

Witnesses say Paul was the last person to be seen with Kristin, 19, before she disappeared.

Paul and his father were arrested in April of last year and charged in connection with Kristin’s murder.

While they were tried at the same time, they each had separate juries who will hand down separate verdicts.

Paul is charged with murder. Prosecutors allege he killed the Cal Poly freshman while raping or attempting to rape her.

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

While Paul remains behind bars and is not allowed bail, Ruben is currently out of custody and if convicted, faces a maximum sentence of three years in jail.

The trial was moved out of San Luis Obispo County and held in Salinas beginning with opening statements mid-July.

Both sets of juries began deliberating last week.

Deliberations did not take place the first three days of this week.

If or when verdicts are reached for both defendants, they will be read back-to-back.

Ruben's jury left the courthouse Friday before 3 p.m.

The judge has denied audio and video recording of the trial and is allowing still photography only.

For more on the Kristin Smart case and murder trial, click here.