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Paul Flores planning to appeal Kristin Smart murder conviction

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Posted at 12:27 PM, May 19, 2023

Paul Flores is planning to appeal his conviction for the murder of Kristin Smart.

A notice of appeal was filed with Monterey County Superior Court on April 10 by Flores' attorney, Robert Sanger.

Sanger represented Flores throughout his lengthy preliminary hearing in 2021 and then months-long jury trial in 2022 in Monterey County.

The recently-filed documents request that a court appointed attorney be assigned to Flores for his appeal. 

The Court of Appeal, Sixth Appellate District, confirmed with KSBY that it has received the pending appeal.

Flores, 46, is currently housed at North Kern State Prison in Delano, a reception center in Kern County. Following his evaluation there, he will likely then be transferred somewhere else to serve out his sentence.

Flores was convicted last October by a Monterey County jury for the 1996 murder of Kristin Smart.

Judge Jennifer O’Keefe handed down the maximum sentence in March of 15 years-to-life, calling Flores at the time, “a cancer to society.”

His father, Ruben, who was charged as an accessory and tried alongside his son, was found not guilty.

Smart and Flores both attended Cal Poly at the time of Smart's disappearance following an off-campus party on May 25, 1996.

Investigators said Flores also attended the party and was the last person to be seen with her.

A longtime person of interest in the case but denying any involvement, Flores and his father were arrested in 2021 and charged in connection with Smart's disappearance.

She was 19-years-old at the time and wrapping up her freshman year at Cal Poly.