NewsKristin Smart Case


Report: Paul Flores has 23% chance of recidivating within a year

The pre-sentencing report was prepared by the SLO Co. Probation Dept.
Paul Flores 8-15-22.JPG
Posted at 3:19 PM, Apr 06, 2023

The pre-sentencing report for Paul Flores that was put together ahead of his sentencing last month for the murder of Kristin Smart details multiple aspects of his life, from his education and jobs to multiple criminal convictions, while also stating the 46-year-old continues to deny any involvement in the crime.

The report prepared by the San Luis Obispo County Probation Department states Flores is in the medium risk range to reoffend and requested Monterey County Superior Court Judge Jennifer O’Keefe deny the 46-year-old probation and require him to register as a sex offender, both of which the judge agreed with when she handed down the maximum sentence for first-degree murder in California of 25 years-to-life for the 1996 rape and murder of Smart.

After graduation, Flores attended Cal Poly, majoring in food science for only one year. He later earned an associate’s degrees in liberal studies and business from Los Angeles Harbor College, according to the report, which calls Flores “well educated,” adding that he also attended Cal State Dominguez Hills and was only about four classes short of earning a business degree.

“It should be noted that during the interview process, the defendant (Flores) was asked if he had ever been suspended or expelled from school, to which he responded in the negative; however, during the execution of a search warrant, San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s deputies discovered several notices of school suspensions for the defendant,” the report stated.

Before his April 13, 2021 arrest, Flores was employed by a company that helps connect skilled workers to small company brands.

Over the years, he also worked for a meal prep delivery service, a moving company and Coca Cola. The report states that income earned during his employment at Coca Cola allowed him to purchase his home in San Pedro.

He told the probation department that there is a lien on that home for legal fees and also stated that he’s more than $200,000 in debt and has no retirement fund.

A 1960 Bel Air car that could be seen in front of Flores’ home during the time of law enforcement searches in 2020 and 2021 is a salvaged title, according to the report, which states he relinquished ownership to his mother of his 1956 GMC truck, which reportedly does not run.

Paul Flores home vehicles.JPG

Flores had multiple convictions between 2000 and 2016, according to the report, ranging from DUI, driving with a suspended license and public intoxication.

Flores told the probation department that he started consuming alcohol somewhere between the age of 17 and 18-years-old, adding that he would primarily drink alcohol socially and “on occasion, drink excessively” and reportedly acknowledged the issues alcohol has caused for him in the past, “which resulted in his alcohol related arrests and convictions.”

Flores said he has a very close and supportive relationship with his parents, Susan and Ruben Flores, and also with his sister, Ermalinda. The report states prior to his arrest for Kristin’s murder in 2021, Flores was actively involved in the lives of his niece and nephew, ages 8 and 10.

The document also details police reports, including those from the investigation involving Paul’s, at the time, suspected involvement in the college freshman’s murder.

“During the course of the investigation, several witnesses were interviewed that provided a portrayal of Paul’s predilection of sexual misconduct and predatory behaviors,” according to the report, which detailed certain instances of women claiming Paul either raped them or tried touching them inappropriately.

While Flores has never been charged with any rapes, testimony from some of the women was allowed during his murder trial as the prosecution worked to show Flores’ predatory behavior over the years, including back in 1996 when raping and murdering Kristin Smart.

The report states it was during a February 2020 search of Flores’ home where “numerous homemade pornographic videos which depict Paul digitally penetrating, sodomizing, and having sexual intercourse with unconscious females” were discovered, adding that many of the videos found on an external hard drive and computer were saved in a folder called “practice” and that child pornography was also located.

Some of the graphic videos were also shown in court during the trial.

The report states an “enormous” amount of pornographic material was found on devices belonging to Paul. “It appeared that Paul was obsessed with sexual conduct involving intoxicated and under the influence females. There were numerous rape fantasy videos, videos depicting sexual intercourse with intoxicated females, and videos depicting sexual intercourse with unconscious females.”

During a search in April 2020, the report states detectives found a prescription for Cyclobenzaprine tablets, which are the generic form of Flexeril. The water-soluble muscle relaxer is not supposed to be used with alcohol.

The prescription was prescribed to Flores in 2015 and expired in 2017. Eleven of the 30 pills had reportedly been used and two empty bottles of canine Tramadol were also reportedly found in the home.

The report states that the following February, a local anesthesiologist indicated “that if used outside of a normal prescription, Tramadol would cause significant changes to a person, particularly if mixed with alcohol. He stated Tramadol, Flexeril, and alcohol combined can cause amnesia and non-responsiveness and a person under the influence of Tramadol or Flexeril would not know what is happening.”

During Flores’ murder trial, the prosecution argued that he had a pattern of drugging and raping women in the years following Kristin’s murder.

“Law enforcement noted that Paul’s type of predatorial behavior had a direct correlation to Kristin Smart as numerous witnesses had stated Kristin was extremely under the influence the night she was last seen… The pornographic videos combined with historical witness statements of Paul’s unwanted sexual advances and sexual assaults on multiple females convey that his mindset was a significant contributing factor in Kristin’s disappearance,” the report states.

It goes on to list dates of a plea bargain discussion between the Smart family’s attorney and Flores’ attorney in 2003, a report by Jennifer Hudson to detectives in 2019 that in August 1996, Paul told them he buried Kristin in Huasna and phone calls that were intercepted between Flores and his mother, one in 2020 where Susan Flores can be heard telling her son he needs to listen to the podcast, “Your Own Backyard,” so he can punch holes in it wherever he can.

It also mentions information provided by a former roommate of Ruben Flores and two searches conducted at his Arroyo Grande home in 2021.

Evidence from these searches and soil anomalies discovered under Ruben Flores’ deck were presented during the trial. The prosecution argued that the evidence proved Kristin was buried under the deck at some point and had since been dug up and moved elsewhere.

The report states that during his interview on November 15, 2022 at the San Luis Obispo County Jail, Flores did not discuss any details “related to the instant offense,” but did state: “The police can’t corroborate witness statements and I never used drugs.” It goes on to say Flores said there were ‘“so many lies involved’ and that it was ultimately uncorroborated witness statements that changed Kristin Smart’s status as a missing person to a murder. He stated, ‘I never met these people. I don’t understand how these people who I never met put me on the stand. I didn’t do anything’.” The report states Flores insisted he never brought a girl to his room when he was attending Cal Poly.

During the interview with the probation officer, which took place nearly a month after his murder conviction, Flores said police and the FBI have followed him and harassed him for years, which he blames for lost employment.

Paul told the probation officer that he had planned to enlist in the U.S. Navy, scoring a 98 out of 99 on the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery exam, but was prohibited from doing so due to being identified as possibly being involved in Kristin Smart’s disappearance.

The report states Flores said the investigation into Smart’s disappearance only rekindled during election years for the San Luis Obispo County sheriff. “The defendant maintained his innocence and expressed frustration with law enforcement invading and interfering with his life,” the report said.

“The defendant has remained free in the community for the last 25 years since committing the heinous murder of Kristin Smart. Although the defendant was convicted by a jury of his peers for her murder, justice has been denied to the Smart family until Kristin’s remains are recovered and returned to them where they can properly lay her to rest,” the report states.

The risk assessment conducted for Flores does not measure sexual deviancy but is reportedly used alongside other sex offender assessment tools “and is good at assessing general criminality.”

Regarding reoffending, Flores scored in the medium risk range and was given a 23 percent change of recidivating within a year.

The report states “The defendant displayed an utter lack of remorse for his reprehensible, aberrant behavior and he continues to maintain his innocence. He maliciously murdered Kristin Smart, callously disposed of her body, and witness testimonial accounts during trial alleged sexual victimization of other women since the murder of Kristin Smart. The defendant has deprived closure to the Smart family by withholding the location of Kirstin’s remains. The Smart family’s only solace is that the defendant has been removed from society where he can no longer prey and victimize women.

The supervising probation officer recommended the maximum sentence be handed down to Flores.

The impact of the defendant’s actions has been far reaching as evidenced by the outpouring of victim impact letters… The murder of Kristin Smart not only affected the San Luis Obispo County community in which the defendant committed his heinous crime but has also affected the communities which the Smart family members reside and the communities where victims have bravely come forward with their stories of being sexually victimized by the defense. The safety and security of the community would be gravely jeopardized should the defendant ever be released from custody. The fact that the defendant eluded capture for the murder of Kristin Smart for 25 years while continuing to prey on and victimize numerous women in the community, coupled with his utter display of lack of remorse are all factors that should be considered when the defendant becomes eligible for parole.

The San Luis Obispo County District Attorney’s Office says parole eligibility could come in about 15 years.

Flores’ father, Ruben Flores, was tried alongside him in 2022 but was ultimately acquitted of helping his son cover up Kristin’s murder. The father and son each had separate juries but sat side-by-side for the duration of the trial.

It took place in Monterey County after a San Luis Obispo County judge ruled the pair was not likely to receive a fair and impartial trial in the county the crime occurred.

At the end of March, Flores was transferred to North Kern State Prison in Kern County where he will be assessed before being moved to a more permanent facility to serve out his sentence.

Regarding the rape allegations out of Los Angeles County, the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office tells KSBY a case involving Flores was declined in March of 2013 due to the lack of sufficient evidence. The DA's Office says that since then, Flores has been accused of other crimes, but "no case has been formally presented to our office for filing consideration."