CA v. Flores & Flores: The Kristin Smart Murder Trial

Posted at 1:01 PM, July 15, 2022 and last updated 6:49 AM, August 12, 2022

By Katie McLaughlin

SALINAS, Calif. (Court TV) – Testimony began Monday, July 18, at the Monterey County courthouse in The Kristin Smart Murder Trial.

The fate of the missing college freshman was a mystery for decades. Now, a father and son are on trial related to her disappearance.

 

19-year-old Smart was last seen on May 26, 1996, as she left a campus party with two other students at California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo. One of those students was Paul Flores.

Flores was a longtime suspect in Smart’s disappearance, but was not arrested until last year when new evidence was discovered. His father, Ruben Flores, was also arrested at that time.

Paul, 45, is charged with murder. Ruben, 80, is charged as an accessory. Both men maintain their innocence.

FILE – This undated photo released by the FBI shows Kristin Smart, the California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo student who disappeared in 1996. Smart disappeared during her freshman year at California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo more than 25 years ago. She is presumed dead and her body remains missing but the man accused of killing her is going on trial Monday, July 18, 2022. (FBI via AP, File)

In a unique set of circumstances, father and son will be tried simultaneously, but with different juries. That means those separate juries will rotate in and out of the courtroom, depending on which witness is called to the stand.

In February 2020, 24 years after smart went missing, search warrants were issued for Paul’s home and his parents’ home, as well, as property in Washington State.

During a follow-up search of the home, police caught a break in the case; they discovered “biological evidence” under the deck behind Reuben’s home. Paul and Reuben were arrested. The Associated Press reported that the soil contained traces of human blood and stains.

Last April, Smart’s family sued Reuben for severe emotional distress. The suit alleges Reuben relocated the remains of their loved one with the assistance of Paul’s mother, Susan Flores and her boyfriend, Mike McConville.

Interest in getting justice for Smart was largely reignited by Chris Lambert’s podcast “Your Own Backyard,” which put pressure on authorities to solve the case.

Smart was declared legally dead in 2002. Her body has not been found.

DAILY TRIAL HIGHLIGHTS

DAY 11 – 8/11/22

  • William Hanley – former senior investigator at SLO District Attorney’s Office
    • (Testimony only offered for Paul Flores’ case)
    • Hanley interviewed Paul at the Cal Poly police department on May 31, 1996
      • The department was loud and busy so, the interview took place in an unmarked car
      • In the interview, Paul said he didn’t touch Kristin & knew she introduced herself as Roxy
      • Paul said when he walked Roxy back to the dorms, she started getting cold and he rubbed her shoulders one time but it was “not sexual in nature at all”
      • Paul said he couldn’t remember any conversation he had with that group of people he walked back with
      • Hanley asked Paul why he didn’t help Roxy get back to her dorm if she was intoxicated. According to Hanley, Paul said, “I didn’t even think about it.”
      • Paul mentioned that after he parted ways with Roxy and went back to his dorm, in the middle of the night he threw up and then took a shower. Hanley said he asked Paul why he would take a shower, and to this Hanley said he remembered Paul “just didn’t have an answer for it.”
      • Hanley said he noticed that under Paul’s right eye there was faint discoloration, like the later stages of a black eye. He relayed that Paul told him he was playing basketball with Jeromy Moon and “he got elbowed.”
    • Hanley interviewed Paul again on June 19, 1996 in Arroyo Grande. He did not tell Paul he was being recorded.
      • In the video interview played the for jury, Paul said,…
        • He thought Kristin took off with someone
        • He didn’t remember Kristin stumbling
        • He never kissed Kristin and didn’t feel any attraction towards her
        • He doesn’t remember having a conversation with Kristin
        • He might’ve had a blackout
        • He got a black eye uninstalling his radio on his truck and hitting his eye on the steering wheel
        • Claimed his lie about the black eye doesn’t matter, that he didn’t think it was important
        • Resisted taking a polygraph test, said he needed to ask his parents first

DAY 10 – 8/10/22

  • Lawrence Kennedy – Investigated Kristin Smart’s missing person case
    • An audio interview between Lawrence Kennedy and Paul Flores was played in court. In it, Paul said he observed Kristin to be overly flirtatious at the Crandall Way party and indicated he doesn’t like being with girls of that character because he doesn’t want to get some sort of “disease.” Though, he doesn’t elaborate on this. Paul also said that after the party, he took a shower and that someone had seen him and could be his “alibi.” (To this, Lawrence testified that Paul did not provide any list of people who could corroborate a timeline of his whereabouts.) In the next part of the audio interview, Lawrence asked Paul if he had had sex with anyone in the past few weeks. Paul responded, “Never” not all year long. When asked if he had been intimate with anyone, Paul said that he had – one time over Christmas break. Paul also said he only went so far as to kiss girls. Going back to the party, Paul said he hadn’t heard of any parties going on on Memorial Day weekend. He said that on that Friday, he had two beers in his dorm room, took one beer to-go, and headed out to go visit his sister. On the walk to his sister’s house, he saw the Crandall Way party and decided to stop by. Later in the audio, Paul was asked about his black eye. To this, Paul said he was playing basketball near an elementary school and that the gravel was loose in that area
  • Robert Cudworth – Investigated Kristin Smart’s missing person case
    • Interviewed Paul on May 28, 1996 sometime in the afternoon. Said that Paul told him he knew of Kristin Smart but hadn’t talked to her the night of the Crandall Way party. Testified that Paul said that when he was getting ready to leave the party, he noticed Kristin, Cheryl, and Tim headed back to the dorms, and that during this time, he was going to assist Kristin, who was having difficulty walking back to the dorms. Cudworth also relayed that, according to Paul, the group had to stop along the way, and that he and Kristin separated from Cheryl at Perimeter and Grand, and that later, he separated from Kristin. When asked if he wanted to hug or kiss Cheryl, Cudworth said that Paul’s response was that he did not want to do this. When asked if he was interested in Kristin, he said “that he did not want to get together with her.”
    • Interviewed Paul on May 30, 1996 with Kennedy. Observed Paul to have scrapes to his knees and what appeared to be a black eye.
  • Richard Neufeld – Processed Paul Flores’ dorm room
    • Assigned to process Paul’s dorm room on June 24, 1996. Found hair and fibers off one of the mattresses. Did not find usable fingerprints.
    • Returned to Paul’s dorm room on June 29, 1996. Collected one of the mattresses and mattress cover.
  • WATCH: Kristin Smart Murder Trial: Day 10

DAY 9 – 8/8/22

  • Timothy Davis – Attended 135 Crandall Way party
    • Said, during the Crandall Way party, he saw Kristin Smart on the ground and Paul Flores was next to her. Said it appeared they had fallen. Said he was in the kitchen area at the time.
    • Said he had about one beer every hour, about five to six beers over the course of the night, arrived around 7:00 PM or 8:00 PM and left around 1:30 AM or 2:00 AM.
    • Said, towards the end of the party, he gave his green Ford Taurus to a driver and sent some freshman back to the dorms. Said he saw that Cheryl Anderson had missed this ride back to the dorms. Said around the same time, he saw Kristin laying on the ground as if she was trying to sleep. Said when he saw Kristin, he was trying to get people to go home, and didn’t want the cops coming out to the house. Said he told Kristin she had to leave, she couldn’t be there, and quickly realized she was in no capacity to do anything. Said she was responsive, she knew she had to get up. Said she told him, “I’m cold. I want to go home.” Said he picked her up and she hung onto him, hugging him, putting her nose and face into his neck. Said when they started walking, Paul came out from the darkness, from what looked to be the door that went to the backyard of the party house, and told them “Hey, I’m going back too.” Said at one point, Cheryl said he could go and that she and Paul would walk with Kristin. Said he then took Kristin and gave her to Paul.
    • On cross-examination, he said it’s possible other people were across the street at a Sigma Nu frat party at the time.
    • Said he’s sure there was a keg at the Crandall Way party, not sure if there was whiskey or vodka.
    • Said Kristin introduced herself as Roxy. Said he didn’t know Kristin was a freshman and did see her drinking.
    • Said he did not see Kristin kiss Ross or Trevor, was mainly there spending time with his girlfriend and friends.
  • Jeromy Moon – Observed Paul had a black eye during Memorial Day weekend
    • Said on the Sunday evening of Memorial Day weekend of 1996, noticed Paul had a black eye.
    • Said he asked Paul about it and Paul told him that he “woke up with it.”
    • Said he played basketball with Paul and doesn’t remember Paul getting hit in the face during the game.
    • On cross-examination, he said he doesn’t remember having Chinese food and going to see a movie in SLO with Paul.
    • Said he doesn’t remember telling any detectives he didn’t see any marks on Paul’s face the Sunday, May 26, 1996.
    • Said he doesn’t remember telling any detectives he played basketball with Paul the weekend after Memorial Day on June 1 or June 2, 1996.
  • James Camp – Presented reports to Jeromy Moon prior to Moon’s testimony
    • Said he presented Jeromy Moon five reports prior to his testimony.
    • Said he didn’t re-interview Moon but went to see him as a courtesy to refresh his memory leading up to the hearing.
  • Lawrence KennedyInvestigated Kristin’s missing person case
    • Said he was contacted on the Monday of Memorial Day weekend and assigned a missing person case. Said he went to work on it on Tuesday.
    • Interviewed Paul on Tuesday. Said he observed Paul to have a bruise under his right eye. Said Paul thought he was going to be arrested for an outstanding warrant for a traffic violation (for driving on a suspended license). Said Paul mentioned he had taken care of the traffic violation. Said Paul said he had obtained a black eye playing basketball over Memorial Day weekend. Said Paul mentioned he had walked Kristin and two other students from the Crandall Way party back to campus. Said Paul mentioned that on their way back to campus, at Grand and Perimeter, Kristin had walked off towards her hall and he walked towards his. Said Paul recounted taking a shower and going to bed around 5:00 AM. Said Paul didn’t know who Kristin was. Said Paul mentioned he gave Kristin two hugs and there was no other contact between them beyond that.
  • WATCH: The Murder of Kristin Smart: Day 9

DAY 8 – 8/4/22

  • Mario Garcia – knew Paul Flores
    • Used to play pool with Paul
    • After Memorial Day weekend, saw Paul with a black eye. Said Paul was wearing a baseball cap and had it pulled down.
  • Felipe Arias – friend of Kristin Smart
    • Last saw Kristin May 23, 1996 – she spent the night in his room.
    • Kristin spent the night in his room about two times.
    • Kristin had problems with her roommate, who would bring another boy to their dorm room frequently.
    • Said he doesn’t remember if, when Kristin visited his room, whether or not she would bring any backpacks or bags.
  • James Camp – gathered DMV records
    • According to DMV records, Ruben Flores was previously 5’6 and 185 lbs. He is now 5’6 and 165 lbs.
    • According to DMV records, Paul Flores was 5’10 and 170 lbs.
  • WATCH: Kristin Smart Murder Trial: Day 8

DAY 7 – 8/3/22

  • Trevor Boelter – attended 135 Crandall Way party – cont…
    • Said Kristin introduced herself as Roxy and then kissed him. Said she then pulled him into the bathroom, adjusted her makeup, asked him if he thought she was ugly, mentioned she was concerned about what Ross Ketcham indicating she thought he was attractive.
    • Said Kristin, after the party, grabbed his head and started kissing him again.
    • Said Kristin, as the night wore on, became more “druggy” or “out of it”
    • Said he couldn’t recall if he smelled alcohol on her.
    • Said he doesn’t recall being drunk that night.
    • Said had been to one other party that night and at that party, had one beer.
    • Clarified why he thought Kristin looked “druggy,” was because he had a previous experience being roofied.
  • Eric Wilkins – attended 135 Crandall Way party
    • Said he saw someone who appeared to be drunk laying in a front yard, they were not dressed for cold weather.
    • Said they weren’t fully coherent.
    • Said he remembered Kristin talking to a lot of men at the party.
  • Jennifer Medeiros – filed missing person report
    • Sunday – Tried to file a missing person report with SLO police, was told it was a campus matter, tried to file a missing report with campus police but couldn’t because campus police thought Kristin would return after Memorial Day weekend
    • Tuesday – Filed missing person report
  • Derrick Tse – roommate of Paul Flores
    • Transferred to Cal Poly SLO in the fall of 1995
    • Lived with a roommate, that roommate moved to a different floor, then Paul Flores moved in sometime between Dec. 1995 –  Jan. 1996
    • Friday of Memorial Day weekend 1996 – Left for Oakland
    • Tuesday of Memorial Day weekend 1996 – Returned to Cal Poly SLO
    • Said when he returned from Oakland, he had heard a girl had gone missing, the police had talked to Paul. Said he asked Paul about this and Paul had revealed he had been the last person to see Kristin.
    • Said he joked with Paul and said, ‘You probably did something to her’ and that he joked back, ‘Yeah, she’s at my mom’s house right now.’
    • Said Paul didn’t deny anything.
  • READ MORE: Partygoers recall their last interactions with Kristin Smart before her disappearance

DAY 6 – 8/2/22

  • Steven Fleming, friend of Kristin Smart, cont….
    • On cross-examination, said two girls told him in 1996 that Paul made them feel uncomfortable. Admitted he didn’t provide anyone these two names until now.
      • Resisted the characterization that he was taking advantage of Kristin’s disappearance to befriend girls on campus.
      • Couldn’t provide a regular route that he took out of the dorms to attend basketball practice. Said there was “no rhyme, no reason” to his routes.
      • Was not able to name Kristin’s best friends. Provided only two names – Margarita and Crystal.
      • Said he didn’t come forward with his memory of Paul in Kristin’s dorm making Kristin look uncomfortable because he’s Black and at 18 years old, was scared of the police.
      • When asked if he, Kristin, and Margarita spent time in Margarita’s room, he said he was digging through the “melon” of his head and just couldn’t recall a time.
    • On re-direction, he testified he previously stated to the FBI he saw Paul in Kristin’s room 6-6 times but on the stand today, could only remember the one time when Kristin looked uncomfortable.
    • When asked on re-cross if Kristin gave him a sign indicating she was uncomfortable, he reiterated what he noticed was that she was uncomfortable.
  • Matthew Toomey – attended 135 Crandall Way party
    • Said Kristin asked him if his friend Ross Ketcham had a girlfriend. Said Kristin mentioned to him that she thought Ross was attractive.
    • Said Paul asked him questions about Kristin as if he was interested in her and attracted to her.
    • Said Paul told him something to the effect of, Kristin was good looking or hot.
    • Said he later saw Kristin laying down on a lawn, maybe had too much drink. Said he and Ross told her she couldn’t stay there and offered to walk her back to the dorms.
    • Said Kristin’s eyes were closed. Said she responded she didn’t want to leave.
    • Said he and Ross left her alone. Said they figured there were still people at the party that she knew.
    • Said at one point, Kristin and Trevor Boelter kissed.
  • Trevor Boelter – attended 135 Crandall Way party
    • Said a tall girl introduced herself to him as “Roxy,” kissed him, then took his hand and pulled him into a bathroom.
  • WATCH: Eyewitnesses Testify in Kristin Smart Murder Case

DAY 5 – 8/1/22

  • James Camp – SLO D.A. investigator, took photos of 135 Crandall Way
    • Said the residence appeared to be a rotating student housing setup.
    • Said the house was approximately 1,000 square feet.
    • Said the walk from 135 Crandall Way to redbrick dorms was approximately 8 minutes, 35 seconds
    • Said the residence changed, it previously had pool table and bar area which was replaced with a bedroom.
  • Crystal Teschendorf – roommate of Kristin Smart
    • She and Kristin didn’t know each other very well.
    • She didn’t see Kristin wearing a backpack or purse when she left for the evening
    • Said she let her friend sleep in her bed while she spent the evening with her boyfriend in another dorm.
  • Steven Fleming – friend of Kristin Smart
    • Lived in Muir Dorm fall of 1995, moved out in the winter, moved back into Muir Dorm for spring of 1996. Met Kristin when he moved back to Muir Dorm the 2nd time.
    • Observed Paul in the common areas of the dorm, said it looked like Paul was following Kristin. Said it was odd because Paul didn’t live in the dorm.
    • Said one time, he observed Paul in Kristin’s room and Kristin looking very uncomfortable, like she was not okay with it.
  • WATCH: Kristin Smart Murder Trial Back in Session

DAY 4 – 7/25/22

  • Lindsey Smart Stewart – younger sister of Kristin Smart
    • Said Kristin was like a mini mother, inspired her to do better and to work hard.
    • Said when she graduated high school, it was hard milestone to experience without Kristin there.
    • On cross-examination, she said Kristin didn’t share her struggles at Cal Poly SLO
    • WATCH: The Murder of Kristin Smart: Victim’s Sister and Friend Testify
  • Margarita Campos – close friend of Kristin Smart
    • Lived in Muir Hall. Kristin moved into the dorm next door in January 1996, became close with Kristin around April 1996.
    • Said Kristin dyed her hair brown after moving into the dorms.
    • Said on Friday of Memorial Day weekend, Kristin was wearing black board shorts, red Puma shoes.
    • Said she didn’t want to go out to party with Kristin because she wasn’t feeling social and had anxiety about her biology class.
    • Said she did go with Kristin and some other girls to a house party (Not the same party that Paul was at). Said they had one beer, stayed for an hour maybe two. Said she, Kristin, and the other girls drove back towards campus. Then she and Kristin got out of the car at the intersection of California and Foothill. Said this was when she and Kristin bantered on which way to walk back towards campus. Said the way Kristin wanted to walk back was a pathway that could’ve passed another party. Said she was done socializing. Said they ended up parting ways and that was the last time she saw Kristin.
    • The Saturday after, didn’t talk to Kristin all day, figured she went to go get food, go swimming, go to library, etc.
    • When Kristin’s roommate came home, that roommate said they hadn’t seen Kristin.
    • Said she noticed all of Kristin’s stuff was still in her room, nothing had been touched, including a red backpack.
    • Said she remembers a time when she and Kristin went to a campus grocery store where Paul was working at. Said she remembers Paul staring at them.
  • Ross Ketcham – attended 135 Crandall Way party
    • In May 1996, was a Cal Poly SLO freshman.
    • On the Friday of Memorial Day weekend, attended a party at 135 Crandall Way.
    • Said he spoke with Kristin for five minutes at the bar area, had a beer with her. Said during this time, Paul was looking at her.
    • Said at one point, Paul had his arm and Kristin.
    • Said at one point, Kristin fell off a washing machine.
    • On cross-examination, he clarified he didn’t see Kristin fall, but heard a commotion, saw Kristin on the ground and some people helping her to her feet – Paul being one of them.
  • Cheryl Manzer – attended 135 Crandall Way party
    • In May 1996, was a Cal Poly SLO freshman.
    • Said Paul put his arm around her at the party and she walked away.
    • Said when she was ready to go home between 2:00 AM – 2:30 AM, realized her friends had already left the party, was offered to walk home with Tim Davis and agreed to this.
    • Said as she and Tim were leaving the party, Tim realized Kristin was laying somewhere, helped her up, and together, all three of them started to walk toward Cal Poly SLO’s red brick dorms.
    • Said as they started to walk out, Paul appeared sort of suddenly and said he was going to walk with them to the dorms.
    • Said Kristin was unsteady and Paul had his arm around her waist to support her.
    • Said at a certain point, she told Tim that she, Paul, and Kristin could continue without him because she knew Tim lived in the other direction.
    • Said from that point on, she, Paul, and Kristin paused 2 – 3 times on their way back to the dorms. Said each time this happened, Paul said she could continue on by herself and that he would stay with Kristin. Said she didn’t want to walk home alone and preferred to stay with them.
    • When asked on cross-examination if she felt it was safe for Paul to assist Kristin to her dorm, she admitted she did ask if he would so because she didn’t think anything horrible was going to happen.

DAY 3 – 7/22/22

  • Stan Smart, father of Kirstin Smart, on cross-examination….
    • Said he went to Ruben’s residence, saw there was a moving truck, was worried about it because he was missing a daughter and things were being moved.
    • Said he followed the moving truck for a ways.
    • Sanger said Ruben was simply helping his daughter move to a new location.
    • Said he was given a flyer, which he distributed. Said the flyer indicated Ruben’s address, had Paul’s picture and name, had a $10,000 reward.
    • Said he didn’t say Kristin was stretched like a piano wire.
    • Said he never stepped on Ruben’s property, kept 20 feet away from Ruben.
    • Said he drove by Ruben’s house before the incident, less than 10, more than five times.
    • Said he was told by Greg Coates (Ruben’s former defense attorney) not to go by Ruben’s house. Admitted he was close to Coates when this happened but not nose to nose.
    • Said Ruben’s house is on a public road and that he stayed on the public road.
    • Said his interest was that his daughter was missing and Paul was a concern of his.
    • Said his civil suit against the Flores family is still pending.
    • WATCH: Kristin Smart’s Father Takes the Stand
  • Vanessa Shields – lived in Muir dorm
    • Said she was at a party with Paul and Kristin and remembers Paul as being very awkward, wasn’t interested in talking to him. She and others brushed him off. Said Kristin is sweet to everyone and if she were Kristin, she would’ve brushed Paul off faster.
    • Said Paul was staring at Kristin intently.
    • Said she was not at the party Kristin was at over Memorial Day weekend because she had gone home to San Diego.
    • Said when she returned to Muir dorm after Memorial Day weekend, she heard from some girls they hadn’t seen Kristin all weekend. She then went to Kristin’s room, saw her stuff there, thought it seemed strange, didn’t seem right. Said she got concerned because there were key items (e.g., makeup and a hairbrush) she knew Kristin wouldn’t go away with. That’s when she decided to tell an RA.
    • On cross-examination,…
      • Said in her interview with the FBI, she didn’t mention Paul.
      • Said she felt validated that Paul was guilty after she got information from law enforcement. She later affirmed these feelings when Paul was arrested.
      • Said she told her friends and family that Paul was creepy after she found out he was one of the last people with Kristin.
    • WATCH: Kristin Smart’s Friend Testifies
  • Kendra Koed – attended party where Kristin Smart was last seen
    • Attended a party Kristin was at, the Friday before Memorial Day weekend.
    • Said, at this party, she asked Paul for some gum and he started kissing her. She pushed him away. During this interaction, someone told her and Paul to get a room. Said this was not a consensual kiss.
    • Said at the same party, later in the night, Paul started to kiss her again. Said she told him thanks anyways and walked away.
    • Said at the same party, she saw Kristin had fallen down. Said she tried to help Kristin up along with another person.
    • Said Kristin didn’t seem sober. Said she didn’t see Kristin drinking but did see Kristin had a drink in her hand.
    • On cross-examination,…
      • Said she didn’t have a lot to drink.
      • Said she did go to 7-11 with friends, got slurpees and put rum in them. Said she didn’t measure the rum.
      • Said she follows Chris Lambert’s podcast, follows Chris Lambert’s Instagram, Chris Lambert follows her, admits they correspond. Was on an episode of his podcast which was titled “The Only Suspect.” When asked if Chris is dedicated to helping Paul get convicted, she said Chris is dedicated to getting justice for Kristin’s parents.
  • WATCH: The Murder of Kristin Smart: Victim’s Father and Friends Testify
  • WATCH: Kristin Smart High School Classmate Talks to Court TV

DAY 2 – 7/21/22

  • In the defense opening statement for Ruben Flores, attorney Harold Mesick says his client has been harassed, tailed, chased out of restaurants, insulted, assaulted, had stuff thrown in his yard, people screaming at him – it’s been 26 years of torment.
    • Mesick told jurors to pay close attention to each of these witnesses. Said Prosecutor Christopher Peuvrelle is taking the evidence and “he’s flipping it around.” Said there are “shadings of the evidence.”
    • Said Stan Smart confronted Paul Flores.
    • Said Denise Smart’s letter to her daughter shows lack of trust for her.
    • Said Ruben was accounted for on Memorial Day weekend and no efforts were made to locate him.
    • Said staining in the soil could be decomposing avocado tree roots.
    • Said Paul split from Kristin the night he walked her home.
    • Said Paul’s dorm still had students in it Memorial Day weekend, therefore Paul would’ve had to sleep with a dead body before moving it.
    • Said it doesn’t make sense for Paul and Ruben to bury the body in the most inaccessible spot on Ruben’s property.
    • Said no DNA, no blood, no skin, no bones, no teeth, no hair, no clothing was found on that property.
    • WATCH: The Murder of Kristin Smart: Openings and Testimony Begin
  • Denise Smart – mother of Kristin Smart
    • Kristin was 6 feet tall and weighed 145 lbs.
    • They talked regularly on Sundays. Kristin was emotionally and financially dependent on her family.
    • Kristin mentioned that Cal Poly SLO was not the right fit, freshman year was a challenge.
    • Wrote a “buckle up buttercup” letter to Kristin on May 5, 1996. Said there are times when you celebrate the achievements of your children and other times when you have to be the parent and redirect them. In the letter, she listed suggestions for Kristin to get back on track. It breaks her heart that it was the last letter to Kristin.
    • Received a May 24, 1996 voicemail from Kristin where Kristin said she had good news. This turned out to be about a biology professor finding a missing scantron sheet.
    • When Kristin went missing, Denise said she couldn’t get info from the dorm, the president of Cal Poly, the resident advisor, the San Luis Obispo police or the Sheriff’s Department.
    • On cross-examination,….
      • Said Kristin went to Napa for junior high school to live with her dad who had accepted a job out there.
      • Admitted Kristin lost a job as a lifeguard but believes Kristin was rehired.
      • Said she’s not aware of a dispute Kristin had with her roommate.
      • Said Kristin went by the nickname, Roxy, didn’t think Kristin was telling people she was a model for the Roxy clothing brand, was not a model for them.
      • Said she hired a lawyer, James Murphy, who sued the Flores family for money but insists the goal of the effort was for information.
      • Regarding the letter, emphasized that even though Kristin was struggling at Cal Poly, this moment in time did not define Kristin’s whole experience as a freshman.
      • Said Kristin did lie to her and her husband about different events.
      • WATCH: Kristin Smart’s Mother Takes the Stand
  • Matthew Smart – younger brother of Kristin Smart
    • Indicated his strong bond with Kristin.
    • Said Kristin missed every major event in his life in the past 26 years.
    • Doesn’t recall any major struggles Kristin had, or that she was failing classes, or that she lost any job. Does say Kristin struggled as other struggle in college.
  • Stan Smart – father of Kristin Smart
    • Spoke with Kristin regularly, usually Sundays. They were close.
    • Said he spent a great deal of time trying to find her. He came down from Napa, and for three months (June, July, August 1996) looked for Kristin’s remains. Said he talked to many people, estimated a thousand. Said there weren’t cell phones at the time. Would go talk to people around the Cal Poly campus, around SLO, around Arroyo Grande. In September, went back to Napa to work.
    • Said he didn’t see Paul Flores or Ruben Flores helping to find Kristin.
    • Said he went to Ruben Flores’ house and Ruben said he ought to leave or someone might get shot.

DAY 1 – 7/18/22

  • In the state’s opening statement, prosecutor Christopher Peuvrelle lays out the timeline of Kristin Smart’s disappearance
    • On May 24, 1996, Kristin left a voicemail for her family saying she had goods new.
    • That evening, she went to a house party:
      • She was seen sober between 10:00 PM – 10:30 PM
      • Matt Toomey saw Kristin intoxicated face down on the ground between 12:00 AM – 12:30 AM
      • Tim Davis saw Kristin intoxicated face down on the ground between 2:00 AM – 2:30 AM
      • Tim Davis and Cheryl Anderson helped Kristin up. This was when Paul Flores came out of the darkness and offered to walk Kristin home. All four of them headed towards the dorms. Paul lived in Santa Lucia dorm and Kristin lived in Muir dorm.
      • Paul was unaccounted for between 2:30 AM – 6:00 AM on May 25, 1996.
      • Paul called his father, co-defendant Ruben Flores, at 9:47 AM on May 26, 1996.
    •  Paul played basketball on May 27, 1996.
    • Paul was interviewed by Cal Poly police on May 28, 1996. They observed a light bruise under his eye. Paul said he had no physical contact with Kristin and didn’t find her attractive.
    • At the end of June 1996, cadaver dogs were sent to Santa Lucia dorm. They showed a strong alert on the corner of Paul’s mattress, which had a light brown stain. It tested positive for human blood. When it was run for DNA, Kristin couldn’t be included or excluded from the sample.
    • Paul went to a skateboarding party, where he told Jennifer Hudson that Kristin was a b*tch and he buried her.
    • When Kristin went missing, her father, Stan, ended up at Ruben Flores’ house. Ruben allegedly said, “You better leave or someone’s going to get shot.”
    • Paul later moved to Los Angeles:
      • Rachel Doe will testify to the Redondo Beach rape case
      • Ronda Doe will testify to the San Pedro sexual assault case
      • Sara Doe will testify to another sexual assault case
    • There was a wiretap on Susan Flores, Paul’s mother, and Paul in 2019. In it, Susan can be heard telling Paul to listen to the podcast and poke holes in that.
    • A neighbor sees a cargo trailer pointed towards Ruben’s deck and hears Susan and Mike arguing. In 2020 a fence exists, in 2021 the fence is removed to allow the cargo trailer onto the residence.
    • Ground penetrating radar found an anomaly under Ruben’s deck – 4 feet wide, 4 feet deep, 6 feet long. This is where investigators found dark staining consistent with human decomposition. The darkest stain tested positive for human blood/primate blood/ferret blood.
  • In the defense opening statement for Paul Flores, attorney Robert Sanger details their strategy
    • Law enforcement is aware they didn’t have a case – there’s no eyewitnesses, no body, no physical or forensic evidence.
    • Kristin had at-risk behavior – she was likely to get into a car with a guy and go off.
    • Kristin’s parents were at their wits end with her, she was flunking out of school.
    • The prosecution said Ruben had articles and posters about Kristin. Well, there was a media campaign where wanted posters listing Ruben’s address were issued.
    • The prosecution has a wiretap on Susan and Paul. Information was given to the podcaster to say provocative things. Susan tends to talk a lot. This audio is the best they have. What would any mother say in this situation?
    • You’ll hear from an archaeologist talk about a burial site. She’s not an expert on decomposition or semipermeable wraps. The stains turned out not to be blood. We’ll present a forensics expert on buried remains.
    • Paul had a DUI in Santa Barbara but he was living in Los Angeles at the time. At one point he got his probation revoked and went to jail. Law enforcement planted an informant in his cell. Paul always said he went a separate way from Kristin to this person.
    • At the party Paul was at in 1996, there’s no proof Paul gave Kristin alcohol. At one point he left to go to another party and came back, he didn’t come from the shadows.
    • That night, Kristin’s roommate had a friend over. This friend was too drink to know if Kristin came back and later left to go to another dorm.
    • Steve Fleming isn’t 100% sure Paul was stalking Kristin. Kristin previously reported she was being stalked by another guy.
    • Dog handlers’ dogs often hit on nothing. Once or twice they’ve found a body. A change in their behavior is nothing more than a clue. There were multiple dog alerts in different areas.
    • Ground penetrating radar found multiple anomalies, even at Susan’s house. There’s nothing that suggests the anomaly at Ruben’s house is a burial site.
    • The cargo trailer at Ruben’s house is Mike McConville’s trailer. Mike, the boyfriend of Susan, has cancer, he needed a place for his trailer. The idea that there was ever a body in the trailer isn’t supported by the evidence.
    • READ: Trial begins in case of missing California college student
    • WATCH: The Murder of Kristin Smart: Day 1
    • WATCH: Why Did Kristin Smart Case Take 26 Years to Get to Trial?
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