Juror excused in Kristin Smart murder trial: ‘Peoples’ lives are at stake’

Posted at 7:37 AM, October 14, 2022 and last updated 9:48 AM, October 21, 2022

SALINAS, Calif. (KSBY) – A juror for Ruben Flores’ case in the Kristin Smart murder trial was excused Thursday.

Monterey County Superior Court Judge Jennifer O’Keefe questioned a juror about whether he’d spoken about the case to his priest at church after hearing from another juror that that was the case.

FILE -Ruben Flores, father of Paul Flores, sits in court Monday, Aug. 2, 2021, in San Luis Obispo, Calif.  (David Middlecamp/The Tribune (of San Luis Obispo) via AP, Pool,File)

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

The juror told the judge that he had not discussed any specifics with his priest but said he needed spiritual guidance and blessings due to the stress the case was having on him.

The juror said that the case wasn’t easy and peoples’ lives are at stake.

O’Keefe excused the juror. An alternate was sworn in a short time later and received instructions to “begin deliberations anew” to catch the juror up to speed.

Thursday marks the first day this week both sets of juries deliberated since last Friday. Court was dark the first three days of the week due to a previously planned break.

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