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Judge approves sentencing delay for convicted murderer Paul Flores

SALINAS, Calif. (KION-TV): UPDATE Dec. 2, 2022, at 10:12 a.m.- The man found guilty of the murder of Kristin Smart will now be sentenced in March after a judge approved a delay.

Judge Jennifer O'Keefe granted the defense motion made by Paul Flores's defense attorney Robert Sanger. Paul Flores was originally scheduled to be sentenced on Dec. 9 and is facing 25 years to life in prison.

A new status hearing is scheduled for Feb. 9, 2023, and a new sentencing was scheduled for March 10.

Paul Flores found guilty in Kristin Smart murder trial, Ruben found not guilty of accessory to murder

UPDATE Oct. 20, 2022, at 11:34 a.m.- Paul Flores has been taken back to San Luis Obispo County Jail until his sentencing hearing in December, according to the Monterey County Jail.

Since the crime was committed in San Luis Obispo County, he will be extradited back to San Luis Obispo County when he is sentenced.

UPDATE Oct. 18, 2022, at 1:30 p.m.- Paul Flores has been found guilty of first-degree murder in the 1996 disappearance of Kristin Smart, according to our reporter on the scene.

"The impact that Kristin's disappearance and its investigation have had on the Smart family and our community, spanning a quarter century, is profound," District Attorney Dan Dow said in the release. "We thank them for the tremendous trust and patience they have placed in the investigation and prosecution of this terrible crime. This verdict provides some sense of justice for Kristin, the Smarts, and our community. Today, justice delayed is not justice denied."

Paul's father, Ruben Flores, was found not guilty of accessory to murder charge.

Ruben Flores told reporters outside the courtroom he is worried about his son and "there is no evidence against anybody."

"It's too bad the system works that way, on feelings instead of facts," Ruben Flores said, adding that he felt bad for Smart's family because they never got a true answer as to what happened to their daughter.

Prosecutors alleged Flores, now 45, raped or attempted to rape Smart and killed her in his dorm room while he and the victim were students at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, and that his father helped move her body to his home in nearby Arroyo Grande, hiding her body for a time under his deck.

Smart's disappearance haunted idyllic San Luis Obispo, a small college city with a little more than 47,000 residents, less than 10 miles from the Pacific Ocean.

Billboards in the community showed Smart's face and asked for help solving her mysterious vanishing.

The Smart case attracted more public interest, with the popularity of a podcast delving into her disappearance called "Your Own Backyard," which debuted in 2019. That podcast and authorities identified Paul Flores as the last person to see Smart alive.

Smart was declared dead in 2002.

After authorities arrested Paul and Ruben Flores a year and a half ago, the family of Kristin Smart called it a bittersweet day.

"While Kristin's loving spirit will always live in our hearts, our life without her hugs, laughs and smiles is a heartache that never abates," they said in a statement.

John Segale, a family spokesperson, told CNN that Denise and Stan Smart are retired educators and live in Stockton, California

Paul Flores will be sentenced in December and faces 25 years to life. The family of smart is expected to release a statement.

Paul Flores jury reaches verdict in Kristin Smart trial

SALINAS, Calif. (KION-TV): KION has received tips that a verdict has been reached in the Paul Flores murder trial. A verdict is expected to be read this afternoon.

The verdict is expected to be read at 1:30 p.m. at the Superior Court of California, County of Monterey in Salinas.

Ruben Flores', Paul's father, verdict was reached Monday. Paul Flores is accused of murdering former Cal Poly student Kristin Smart in May 1996 and his father is being accused of accessory.

Ruben Flores jury reaches verdict in Kristin Smart trial

SALINAS, Calif. (KION-TV): The jury for Ruben Flores, whose son is accused of killing former Cal Poly student Kristin Smart in May 1996 and who is being charged as an accessory to the crime, has reached a verdict according to KEYT.

The court will not announce the jury's decision until the decision for Paul Flores, Ruben's son, has also reached a verdict.

Both cases were tried simultaneously but each defendant has their own jury. Ruben Flores' jury had to restart deliberations days in after a juror was dismissed on Thursday for talking about the case with his priest, but handed down its decision on Monday.

READ MORE: Closing arguments began in the Kristin Smart murder trial

Paul Flores was accused of killing Smart because he was reportedly the last one to see her alive after an off-campus party that spring.

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Ricardo Tovar

Assignment/ Web Manager for KION News Channel 5/46 and Telemundo 23


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