NewsKristin Smart Case


Roommate, DA investigator take stand in Kristin Smart murder trial

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Posted at 2:15 PM, Aug 01, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-02 00:25:19-04

The Kristin Smart murder trial moved into week three Monday.

Paul and Ruben Flores are on trial for the murder of Cal Poly student Kristin Smart, who disappeared after an off-campus party over Memorial Day weekend in May 1996.

Paul is facing a charge of murder. His father, Ruben, is facing a charge of accessory after the fact, accused of helping cover up the crime.

Both are on trial together in Salinas after the case was moved out of San Luis Obispo County.

Monday morning, one of Ruben Flores’ jurors did not show up, so an alternate was selected at random and sworn in before testimony got underway.

This follows a nearly week-long delay in the trial.

Taking the stand first Monday were Kristin’s former dorm roommate and a district attorney investigator.

James Camp

James Camp, a former Cal Poly student himself in the ’90s, worked as a deputy sheriff before joining the district attorney’s office as an investigator in 2012.

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Investigators James Camp testifies in court on Monday, Aug. 1, 2022.

He said he began working on the Kristin Smart case in 2021.

Camp’s testimony Monday focused on the Crandall Way house where Kristin attended a party the night she disappeared.

He talked about the layout of the house and its location relative to campus as well as the route Kristin, Paul Flores and Margarita Campos took heading back from the party toward the dorms.

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Paul and Ruben Flores in court on Monday, Aug. 1, 2022.

Paul’s attorney, Robert Sanger, asked Camp if there were any pictures of the house prior to last year and if any construction was done during the last 26 years.

Camp said investigators have no pictures prior to 2021 but added that several witnesses have talked about a different floor plan that included a bar and a pool table during the party.

Sanger asked Camp if it’s also his job to exonerate potential suspects and if he’d interviewed any other persons of interest.

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Defense attorney Robert Sanger in court with James Camp on the stand on Monday, Aug. 1, 2022.

Camp said he had not questioned any other suspects but said it is his job to exonerate potential suspects when appropriate.

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Defense attorney Harold Mesick in court on Monday, Aug. 1, 2022.

Crystal Calvin Teschendorf

Next up was Kristin’s dorm roommate, Crystal Calvin Teschendorf. She said she and Kristin were friendly but not close.

Kristin moved into the room in February of 1996 after Crystal’s previous roommate moved out.

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Crystal Calvin Teschendorf

Teschendorf said she and her friends made plans to go to a different party before parting ways with Kristin and Margarita for the evening.

She says she never saw Kristin again but testified that she became increasingly concerned after not hearing from Kristin and noting she left behind all her personal belongings.

Teschendorf testified she and several other residents contacted law enforcement on Sunday, two days after seeing Kristin for the final time, and again on Tuesday after she didn’t show up for class.

Teschendorf said law enforcement didn’t take her concerns seriously at first.

Paul and Ruben’s attorneys will now get the chance for cross examination.

While Paul and Ruben are being tried together, they each have separate juries who will return individual verdicts.

At the start of the trial, 12 jurors and eight alternates were selected for each defendant. So far, one alternate has been seated on each jury, leaving seven alternates left for both.

The jury box is too small to accommodate all of the jurors, so many are sitting in the part of the courtroom set aside for the audience.

Court bailiffs are gradually moving them around so all jurors can get a different vantage point of the proceedings.