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Detective in Kristin Smart case testifies Ruben Flores admitted to felony during visit to collect DNA

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Posted at 8:59 AM, Aug 31, 2021

On day 15 of the preliminary hearing for Paul and Ruben Flores, the two men charged in connection with the disappearance of Cal Poly student Kristin Smart, testimony continued with another cadaver dog handler taking the stand, along with an expert in fiber evidence, a district attorney's office investigator, and San Luis Obispo County Sheriff's Detective Clint Cole.

It was during Det. Cole's testimony, that he revealed a conversation he had with Ruben Flores on May 19 of this year when he went to Ruben's home to collect DNA swabs.

Cole said Ruben asked why they would be collecting DNA from Paul's mother, Susan Flores, and her boyfriend. According to Cole, Ruben told him, "They did not commit a felony, only I did."

Cole said Ruben then clarified that he meant he was the only one of the three who had been arrested.

His testimony is expected to continue on Wednesday.

Prior to Det. Cole taking the stand, retired supervising criminalist Faye Springer testified.

Springer said she worked as a criminalist for 50 years, working mostly in trace evidence, and has testified as an expert at least 500 times.

Springer testified about how she identified fibers in materials that were sent to her by the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff's Office from a search of some soil.

She said the fibers were red, blue, and black along with some light colors, adding that the red fibers didn't look very old.

Kristin Smart was reportedly wearing red shoes before her disappearance.

The prosecution argued that if a fiber is protected from the sun, it could be protected.

The defense asked if it would be unusual to find fibers at a construction site. Springer said "no."

The day started off with testimony from cadaver dog handler Wayne Behrens.

He testified that he and his dog, Sierra, were involved in a search of the Cal Poly campus on June 29, 1996.

Behrens said Sierra jumped up on the door of room 128, which was Paul’s dorm on the Cal Poly campus, and alerted to a mattress on the left side of the room.

Prior to that, Behrens said Sierra showed interest outside the same dorm room along the bushes and the room’s window line and window frame.

Under cross-examination, Behrens was asked if the deputy who was with him during the search had investigated another death that day or had gone to a fatal accident. Behrens said he didn't know.

Behrens testified that he wasn't given any information prior to the search except that they were looking for a deceased person and that he did not know there was any particular significance to the dorm area.

He added that his dog was trained to not hit on animal remains.

District Attorney Investigator James Camp also took the stand on Tuesday, testifying about the layout of the Cal Poly dorms.

He is expected to be called to the witness stand again during the preliminary hearing.

It was also announced Tuesday that podcaster Chris Lambert's objection to his subpoena will be heard on September 8 at 9 a.m.
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ORIGINAL STORY: Paul and Ruben Flores are expected back in the courtroom Tuesday morning for day 15 of their preliminary hearing.

The hearing for the father and son charged in connection with the death of Cal Poly student Kristin Smart began Aug. 2 and is now expected to last into next week.

Monday, a cadaver dog handler involved in a search of Paul’s dorm room on campus a month after Kristin went missing in May 1996 testified.

The judge also decided that an objection to podcaster Chris Lambert’s subpoena requiring him to provide documents related to the case won’t be heard until Tuesday, Sept. 7.

The defense stated they would call on Scott Peterson to be available for testimony via Zoom that same week. The judge said that the defense would have to offer proof that Peterson’s testimony would be relevant before he would be allowed to testify.

More testimony is expected from court on Tuesday.

Paul and Ruben were arrested in April. Paul is charged with murder and is currently being held without bail in San Luis Obispo County Jail.

Ruben is charged as an accessory and is out of custody after posting bail.

Kristin's remains have never been found, but she was declared legally dead in 2002.

KSBY is in the courtroom and will have updates on what takes place throughout the day on KSBY.com and on KSBY News at 5 and 6 p.m.