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Paul Flores is found GUILTY of murdering Kristin Smart

Paul Flores has been found responsible of the homicide of Kristin Smart, a 19-year-old scholar who vanished in 1996 and whose loss of life went unsolved for many years till a podcast revisited the case in 2019. 

Paul, 45, was convicted of murdering Kristin whereas attempting to rape her in 1996 after the pair attended a celebration at Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo. They had been each 19 on the time. He now faces a minimal of 25 years in jail however might spend the remainder of his life behind bars.

He was charged with homicide, whereas his 81-year-old father Ruben was charged with being an adjunct after the actual fact. Ruben was found not responsible. 

Prosecutors had argued that Paul killed Kristin then hid her physique in his father’s yard. They prompt that the pair moved the physique years later. 

The jury rejected that concept, acquitting Ruben on Tuesday. Paul will likely be sentenced on December 9. 

As Paul Flores’ conviction was learn aloud in court docket, Kristin’s father smiled and positioned an arm round her mom, who quietly wept, The Tribune reported. 

‘After 26 years, with at the moment’s break up verdicts, we realized that our quest for justice for Kristin will proceed,’ the household stated in a press release. 

Smart’s household and associates plan to carry a celebration of her life at her memorial at Dinosaur Caves in Shell Beach at 6pm on Tuesday, with a music jam session celebrating the responsible verdict.

Paul Flores, pictured on Tuesday, was found guilty of her murder

Kristin was a Cal Poly scholar who vanished after an evening of partying within the faculty city in 1996. Paul Flores, proper, seen on Tuesday as the decision was learn, was found responsible of her homicide

Paul Flores is seen standing to receive the verdict in Monterey County Superior Court, California, on Tuesday

Paul Flores is seen standing to obtain the decision in Monterey County Superior Court, California, on Tuesday

Attorney Harold Mesick reacts on Tuesday after the jury acquitted Ruben Flores of helping his son, Paul Flores, cover up the murder of Cal Poly student Kristin Smart

Attorney Harold Mesick reacts on Tuesday after the jury acquitted Ruben Flores of serving to his son, Paul Flores, cover up the homicide of Cal Poly scholar Kristin Smart

Judge Jennifer O'Keefe on Tuesday reads out the verdict to the court

Judge Jennifer O’Keefe on Tuesday reads out the decision to the court docket

Paul Flores is seen being led out of court after the verdict was handed down

Paul Flores is seen being led out of court docket after the decision was handed down

NOT GUILTY: Ruben Flores was acquitted of being an accessory to his son's crime. The 81-year-old had been facing three years in prison

NOT GUILTY: Ruben Flores was acquitted of being an adjunct to his son’s crime. The 81-year-old had been dealing with three years in jail

Paul Flores is shown in an unrelated arrest photo from 1996, when he was 19. He was never charged over Kristin's death at the time

Paul Flores is proven in an unrelated arrest picture from 1996, when he was 19. He was by no means charged over Kristin’s loss of life on the time 

Judge Jennifer O’Keefe thanked the jury for his or her service, after studying out the decision.

‘I want to specific to you appreciation and that of the events on your service on this case,’ she stated. 

‘It is a fantastic personal sacrifice to function a juror. You have been very attentive and conscientious all through this case.’

Outside court docket, Ruben Flores stated he was relieved he was acquitted, however saddened by the responsible verdict for his son. 

‘They had a lot stuff they made up,’ he stated of the prosecution. 

‘It was about emotions. It wasn’t about info.’

Asked how he felt when he heard his son found responsible, he replied: ‘I do not know. Just holding on, that is all.’

Harold Mesick, Ruben Flores’s legal professional, stated the case has been the one he is ‘most invested in on a personal degree.’ 

He stated his consumer was ‘not simply not responsible; he is completely harmless.’ 

Mesick added: ‘He by no means ought to have been charged, and I’m very happy with the end result. Love our system of justice.’  

He condemned what he stated was a rush to judgement. 

‘There is simply a lot animosity in direction of this man and his household. There’s a lot hate, and I actually have by no means understood it. I perceive that persons are upset that Kristin is lacking, I perceive they need an individual to be accountable for that,’ Mesick stated. 

‘But simply the ‘let’s lynch ’em, let’s burn ’em, let’s dangle ’em, let’s kill ’em,’ — I do not know the place that got here from on this nation. 

‘And I want the group who nonetheless feels that method would disabuse themselves of these emotions.’ Mesick stated Ruben Flores now has to go dwelling ‘and rebuild the deck that was destroyed.’  

Mesick stated he feels there is ‘affordable inference’ Smart is nonetheless alive and that he thought Paul Flores’ legal professional will doubtless file for a brand new trial since ‘there are a lot of grounds.’ 

‘They didn’t show her loss of life,’ he stated.

The case was chilly for many years till a podcast drummed up recent public curiosity within the case. 

Titled ‘Your Own Backyard’, the host was a neighborhood man who stated he felt compelled to analyze the case. The podcast first launched in 2019. 

By 2020, it had amassed hundreds of listeners and, police suspect, spooked the Flores household. 

Neighbors testified on the trial that Ruben Flores did yard work that year, after the podcast cast suspicion on his household. 

Police searched the household dwelling and yard. They didn’t discover a physique, however professional witnesses testified in court docket that the soil beneath the deck had been disturbed. 

They additionally testified that soil samples indicated it was attainable {that a} physique wrapped in tarp had been saved there at some stage. Kristin’s stays have by no means been found. 

She was declared lifeless in 2002. 

The jury in Ruben’s case reached a call on Monday however had been informed they might not announce the choice till Paul’s case was closed. 

His attorneys filed a ‘Hail Mary’ movement asking for a mistrial to be declared, claiming it was improper for a member of the sufferer’s household to be seen by the jury hugging somebody from the prosecution. 

The decide denied the request. 

The Flores’ protection groups have argued all through the trial that they’re the scapegoats of a police division and prosecution which can be extra wanting to fulfill the general public urge for food for a conviction than they’re to seek out the true killer. 

Ruben Flores

Paul Flores

Ruben (left) and Paul (proper) had been arrested in April 2021. The jury lastly reached a verdict at the moment after two weeks of deliberations 

Kristin was a Cal Poly student who was last seen alive in May 1996. She vanished on her way back to her dorm after a night of drinking at a local party

Kristin was a Cal Poly scholar who was final seen alive in May 1996. She vanished on her method again to her dorm after an evening of consuming at a neighborhood celebration 

Kristin was last seen alive at 2am on May 26. She was walking home from a party with Paul Flores, heading towards the area where their dorms were. He told police she walked back to her room, but cadaver dogs detected the scent of a corpse from his room when they searched it after Kristin's disappearance

Kristin was final seen alive at 2am on May 26. She was strolling dwelling from a celebration with Paul Flores, heading in direction of the realm the place their dorms had been. He informed police she walked again to her room, however cadaver canine detected the scent of a corpse from his room once they searched it after Kristin’s disappearance 

KRISTIN SMART TIMELINE: 26 YEARS OF UNANSWERED QUESTIONS UNTIL A PODCAST BROKE THE CASE OPEN 

May 25, 1996: Kristin Smart attends an off-campus celebration with a number of associates, together with Paul Flores, at Cal Poly. 

2am, May 26: Kristin is final seen alive strolling in direction of her dorm room with Paul Flores

May 28: Kristin’s household report her lacking 

June 1996: Paul Flores invokes his Fifth Amendment rights to keep away from answering questions in regards to the case

1997: Kristin Smart’s household sue Paul Flores for wrongful loss of life. It has by no means been resolved

2002: Kristin is declared legally lifeless 

2019: Your Own Backyard podcast airs on Spotify with host Chris Lambert. 

2020: Neighbors report seeing Paul Flores carry a tractor to his yard 

April 13, 2021:  Paul Flores is arrested on suspicion of homicide and Ruben Flores is arrested on suspicion of being an adjunct to homicide 

July 18, 2022: Trials for Paul and Ruben Flores start in Monterey, California, after being moved out of San Luis Obispo 

October 17: Jury reaches verdict in case of Ruben Flores

October 18: Jury reaches verdict in case of Paul Flores 

Paul was found responsible of homicide, whereas his father was acquitted of one depend of being an adjunct after the actual fact. 

‘Conspiracy theories might be enjoyable. We love to listen to them. 

‘We like to observe reveals, and also you suppose, ‘I guess I do know what occurred’. ‘But you are right here as jurors. 

‘You took an oath that you’d observe the rule of regulation,’ Paul’s legal professional pleaded with them in closing arguments. 

Kristin was final seen alive strolling dwelling to her dorm with Paul Flores on May 25, 1996. 

They had attended the off-campus frat celebration with different associates, and their dorms had been shut to one another.

By the tip of the night time, faculty youngsters who had seen Kristin arrive sober stated she was drunk and handed out on the garden. 

At the trial, a number of different ladies testified that Paul Flores spiked their drinks then sexually assaulted them within the years after Kristin’s disappearance. 

They referred to as him ‘Chester the molester’ and ‘Psycho Paul’, they stated. 

Prosecutors prompt that this was how he seized on Kristin, a preferred blonde who he’d admired however might by no means win over. 

When he was first questioned in 1996, Paul Flores informed police that Kristin had walked all the best way to her personal dorm room after the celebration. 

He had a black eye when he was questioned, however he informed police it had come from a basketball damage. 

Later, he stated it was the outcome of bumping his head on his automobile. 

He wasn’t arrested, even supposing 4 cadaver canine singled out his dorm room as having a scent of loss of life once they searched the whole dorm constructing of 120 rooms.  

Paul then stopped answering questions, invoking his Fifth Amendment proper. 

He was sued by Kristin’s household as half of a civil wrongful loss of life lawsuit, however wasn’t charged till April 2021.

The trials started in July this year in Monterey, California. 

They had been moved out of the city the place Kristin disappeared within the curiosity of giving the Flores males a good trial. 

Kristin’s household had been among the many first to testify on the trial. 

Chris Lambert, the host of the hit podcast Your Own Backyard, has been credited with finally solving the decades-old cold case

Chris Lambert, the host of the hit podcast Your Own Backyard, has been credited with finally solving the decades-old cold case

Chris Lambert, the host of the hit podcast Your Own Backyard, has been credited with lastly fixing the decades-old chilly case 

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