NewsKristin Smart Case


Witness recounts final moments before Kristin Smart's disappearance

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Posted at 3:59 PM, Aug 08, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-08 22:18:26-04

Testimony resumed Monday in the Kristin Smart murder trial.

Another former Cal Poly student that walked back with Kristin toward the dorms on the night she went missing was on the witness stand.

Tim Davis

During his testimony, Tim Davis told jurors he’s had to re-live that night for the past 26 years.

Davis was a junior at Cal Poly in 1996. He was one of the students that helped organize the final party that Kristin Smart attended. The party was originally supposed to be a birthday celebration for two of his friends at a house on Crandall Way near the Cal Poly campus, but several uninvited guests also showed up including Kristin and defendant Paul Flores.

Flores was the last person to be seen with Kristin and is now on trial for her murder. His father, Ruben Flores, is also on trial, charged as an accessory after the fact. Ruben is accused of helping hide Kristin's body.

On Monday, Davis testified that he remembers seeing Paul and Kristin together during the party and the two of them fell to the floor together. Several other witnesses have also testified to seeing the two fall down together during the party.

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Tim Davis testifies in court on Monday, Aug. 8, 2022, about the last time he saw Kristin Smart before her disappearance.

Davis said that he was trying to break up the party and get everyone home when he noticed Kristin lying face down on a grassy area on the neighbor’s property. He said he decided to walk his friend, Cheryl Anderson, back to the dorms and it was obvious Kristin would need help walking back as well. He said Paul “appeared out of nowhere” and began to walk with them.

Davis testified that because his house was in the other direction, he ultimately left Paul and the two young women to walk the rest of the way back to the dorms.

He said the person he came to know as Kristin initially told him her name was Roxy.

Under cross-examination by Paul’s attorney, Robert Sanger, Davis said he’d never met Kristin or Paul before that night and that neither had been invited to the party. He admitted to telling investigators that Kristin “leeched onto him” and tried to hug and kiss him and said he’d initially been irritated that he would need to help her get home.

Sanger asked him if he’d ever told San Luis Obispo County Deputy District Attorney Christopher Peuvrelle, “I just want to put this *expletive* guy away,” and that was the reason he was in court testifying, to which Davis answered, “Yes, that’s correct.”

Ruben's attorney, Harold Mesick, asked Davis if he’d reviewed any notes or prepared for Monday’s testimony in any way, to which he replied "no."

The jury also submitted several questions to the judge for Monday morning’s witness. After a brief discussion between the judge and the attorneys, Paul’s attorney asked a couple of the questions including whether Paul had used Kristin’s name during the walk back from the party or if her speech was difficult to understand.

Davis answered "no" to both questions.

Jeromy Moon

On Monday afternoon, Paul Flores' high school friend, Jeromy Moon, briefly took the stand.

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Jeromy Moon testifies in court on Monday, Aug. 8, 2022, about seeing defendant Paul Flores following Kristin Smart's disappearance in 1996.

When questioned by prosecutor Christopher Peuvrelle, Moon said he got together with Paul the Sunday after Kristin Smart went missing. He said he noticed Paul had a bruise on his eye. When he asked Paul about it, he said he woke up with the bruise.

The two got together to play basketball the next day on Monday.

Paul has said that the black eye was a result of that basketball game.

Under cross-examination, defense attorney Robert Sanger questioned Moon about a later law enforcement interview when he said he didn't see any marks on Paul and hadn't seen him until the following weekend. Moon said he couldn't recall the specifics of any of the five interviews he'd done with investigators.

James Camp

District Attorney Investigator James (J.T.) Camp also took the stand again briefly to testify about meeting with Moon prior to the preliminary hearing. Sanger questioned him extensively about whether they'd discussed the discrepancies in the various interviews.

Camp said he showed Moon all of the interview reports but didn't discuss discrepancies.

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San Luis Obispo County District Attorney Investigator James (J.T. Camp) testifies at the Kristin Smart murder trial on Monday, Aug. 8, 2022.

Lawrence "Mike" Kennedy

The remaining time in court Monday was spent questioning now-retired Cal Poly Police Investigator Lawrence "Mike" Kennedy. He was assigned to investigate the Kristin Smart missing person case when she didn't return to campus on the Tuesday following Memorial Day weekend in 1996.

He interviewed Paul Flores twice in the days following the holiday weekend – once in his dorm room Tuesday evening and once at the Cal Poly Police Department on Thursday.

Kennedy had to refresh his memory about the case multiple times by reading his investigation reports.

He said Paul denied knowing Kristin during both interviews.

Kennedy said he also noticed and asked Paul about a bruise on his eye. Paul told Kennedy both times it was from an injury during a basketball game.

He testified that Paul told him he'd last seen Kristin near the intersection of Grand Ave. and Perimeter Rd. where they went their separate ways.

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Retired Cal Poly Police Investigator Lawrence "Mike" Kennedy testifies at the Kristin Smart murder trial on Monday, Aug. 8, 2022.

During cross-examination, Sanger asked Kennedy about his training and background in law enforcement.

Sanger also asked Kennedy about a traffic warrant pending against Flores and if that could explain why Paul was especially nervous about the visit to his dorm room.

Recently unsealed court documents include a June 1996 University Police report made by Kennedy in which he states that when he spoke to Paul in his dorm room on May 28, 1996, "He was very nervous, his heart was pounding under his t-shirt. He said he thought we were going to arrest him for a warrant that was outstanding."

Sanger also questioned Kennedy about the furniture and layout of Paul's room.

His testimony is expected to continue on Tuesday.

Also on Monday, another one of Ruben's jurors was excused and an alternate was sworn in.

The trial is being held in Monterey County after a judge ruled it was unlikely that Paul and Ruben Flores could receive a fair trial in San Luis Obispo County because of the years of publicity the case has received. While the two men are being tried at the same time, they have separate juries.