Kristin Smart murder jury reaches a verdict for Ruben Flores


Kristin Smart murder jury reaches a verdict for Ruben Flores – the father accused of helping accused killer Paul Flores hide her body – but it won’t be announced until BOTH cases have been decided

  • Paul Flores is accused of murdering Kristin Smart and hiding her body in 1996 
  • He is on trial for murder and his father Ruben is on trial for helping him – he has been charged with being an accessory after the fact 
  • A jury in Ruben’s case reached a verdict on Monday but it will not be announced until a jury has also reached a verdict in Paul’s case 
  • Kristin’s disappearance was a cold case for years until a podcast titled Your Own Backyard revisited the evidence
  • Paul and Ruben were arrested as a result of that podcast  

A California jury has reached a verdict for Ruben Flores in the death of Kristin Smart, but it won’t be announced until a verdict has also been reached in the case against his son, Paul. 

Paul Flores, 45, is accused of murdering Kristin in San Luis Obispo, California, in 1995, then hiding her body beneath the decking in his parents’ old house. He has been charged with murder and a jury is still deliberating his fate. 

Prosecutors argued that he had a crush on Kristen and killed her while trying to rape her when both were young students in the 1990s.  

Ruben, Paul’s 81-year-old father, was charged with being an accessory after the fact. 

Paul Flores

Paul Flores is accused of murdering Kristin in San Luis Obispo, California, in 1995, then hiding her body beneath the decking in his parents’ old house

Prosecutors said he helped his son move the body out of the family’s yard as interest in the case spiked again and suspicion mounted against them.  

Kristin was a Cal Poly student who vanished after a night of partying in the college town in 1995

Kristin was a Cal Poly student who vanished after a night of partying in the college town in 1995

That is the case in which the jury has reached its verdict but a judge will not allow it to be announced until the jury in Paul’s trial has also come to a decision. 

Kristin was a Cal Poly student who vanished after a night of partying in the college town in 1996. 

The case garnered new attention in 2020 through the podcast Your Own Backyard, in which a journalist from the town revisited the cold case. 

His podcast led to the arrests of Paul and Ruben in 2021. 

During closing arguments last week, San Luis Obispo County Deputy Dist. Atty. Chris Peuvrelle told the jury in Paul’s case: ‘Paul Flores murdered her and buried her under his father’s deck. It is that simple.’ 

They argued that Paul was a sexual predator who went on to drug and rape two women after Kristin vanished. 

Witnesses testified that he’d been stalking Kristin for months before she vanished, often showing up where she was, and that she was last seen walking back to her dorm with him. 

He had appeared in the dark after a party where she’d been drinking heavily. 

Part of the state’s case was that cadaver dogs sought out Paul Flores’ dorm room at Cal Poly over 120 other rooms while searching for the scent of death. 

Neighbors who lived next to Paul’s parents say that in 2020, as the case attracted attention again, Ruben Flores suddenly started doing work on his yard. 

Specifically, they said they saw a tractor trailer being brought onto the property near to his deck, and that he’d tried to keep people away from the deck for years. 

If convicted, Paul faces 25 years to life in prison. Ruben faces three years in prison.

Both pleaded not guilty and say they were arrested to satisfy public opinion after the podcast, not because of any evidence that links them to the crime. 

‘Conspiracy theories can be fun. We love to hear them. We like to watch shows, and you think, “I bet I know what happened”. ‘But you’re here as jurors. You took an oath that you would follow the rule of law,’ Paul’s attorney pleaded with them. 





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