Paul, Ruben Flores appear in court via Zoom for first time since Oct.
Paul and Ruben Flores appeared before a San Luis Obispo Superior Court
judge via Zoom on Monday.
The two men are set to stand trial next spring in connection with the
1996 disappearance of Cal Poly student Kristin Smart.
Paul is charged with her murder. His father, Ruben, is charged as an
accessory after the fact, accused of helping hide Kristin's body.
After a month and a half-long preliminary hearing that ended on
September 22, Judge Craig van Rooyen ruled there is sufficient
evidence to move the case forward to trial.
In explaining his decision, the judge said he has a strong suspicion
that Kristin Smart was murdered and buried under Ruben's deck.
Monday's hearing was a pre-trial conference to determine that all
parties are on track for the previously agreed upon trial date.
Robert Sanger, attorney for Paul Flores, said his client was having
difficulty obtaining some of the discovery in the case. Discovery is
the process in which the two sides collect and exchange information
about evidence and witnesses.
The defense and prosecution agreed to discuss the matter in an
informal conference with Judge van Rooyen in his chambers on
Judge van Rooyen is currently overseeing another trial but will be the
presiding judge in the Flores trial.
Judge Jacquelyn Duffy handled Monday's court hearing. She confirmed
the trial date of April 25, 2022, with a readiness hearing on April 6.
Paul and Ruben Flores were arrested in April 2021, nearly 25 years
after Kristin Smart's disappearance. She was last seen walking back to
the dorms with Paul Flores after an off-campus party on the early
morning of May 25, 1996.
Kristin's body was never found but she was declared legally dead on
May 25, 2002.
Paul Flores has remained in custody at the San Luis Obispo County Jail
without bail since his arrest. Ruben is currently out on bail.
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