By Ivy Brown, Court TV
Lawyers for convicted murderer Scott Peterson are denying reports of their client’s potential participation in another high-profile murder case in California.
Attorney Pat Harris says statements from the defense team of Paul Flores about calling his client, Scott Peterson, to testify in a preliminary hearing seem like “a rather obvious attempt to shift focus away from the defendant.”
Paul Flores is accused of murdering California Polytechnic State University student Kristin Smart in May 1996. The longtime suspect and his father, Ruben Flores, were arrested in April after San Luis Obispo County authorities discovered new evidence at Ruben’s home, according to the Associated Press.
Smart’s body has never been found, but prosecutors claim it was once buried at Ruben’s home and recently moved before authorities searched the property. The elder Flores is facing an accessory charge for his alleged involvement. Prosecutors allege Paul Flores killed Smart during a rape attempt after she left an off-campus party.
At a hearing last week, the Flores defense team said it plans to call Scott Peterson during a preliminary hearing. Peterson was convicted in 2005 of murdering his wife, Laci Peterson, and their unborn son, Connor. His death sentence was overturned in August 2020. His case has a hearing scheduled for August 25.
Paul Flores’s defense team says Scott and Laci Peterson, who were also Cal Poly students, knew Smart, and were at the same party the night she disappeared, according to “The Modesto Bee.” Investigators did look into Peterson in 2003, but ultimately concluded he was not linked to Smart’s disappearance.
Although the claims of calling Peterson to testify generated public interest, Harris says no subpoena has been issued and no arrangements have been made to move his client from San Quentin State Prison.
Court TV anchor Ted Rowlands contributed to this report.