Paul Flores sentenced to 25 years to life for murder of Kristin Smart
Flores was arrested in 2021, convicted in 2022
– Paul Ruben Flores, 46, has been sentenced to serve 25 years to life in state prison for the murder of Kristin Smart in 1996, according to an announcement released this week by San Luis Obispo County District Attorney Dan Dow.
Smart was a freshman at Cal Poly when she was reported missing in May 1996. After a 25-year investigation, Flores was arrested in 2021 and convicted in 2022.
“Today, our criminal and victim justice system has finally delivered justice for Kristin Smart, for the Smart family, and for our San Luis Obispo County community,” said Dow. “We thank the Smart family and our community for the tremendous trust and patience they placed in the investigation and prosecution of this terrible crime. We recognize the jury for their focused attention to the evidence and the Sheriff’s Office for their tireless effort in building this case. Today, justice delayed is not justice denied.”
This sentence is the result of a collaborative effort by more than a dozen local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies over the span of 25 years, as well as the perseverance of the Smart family.
“After nearly 27 years of unspeakable anguish, the Smart family has finally seen their daughter’s killer sentenced. Their strength and determination serve as an inspiration to us all,” said Deputy District Attorney Christopher Peuvrelle, who prosecuted the case.
The prosecution team included James “J.T.” Camp, Assistant Chief Investigator for the San Luis Obispo County District Attorney’s Bureau of Investigation, Clint Cole, Senior Detective with the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Office, Paralegal Rebecca Cripe, Victim-Witness Assistance Center Assistant Director Beth Raub, Witness Coordinators Eloiza Basinger and Kellie Navarro, Deputy District Attorney Crystal Seiler, and many others.
The trial was held at the Salinas Valley Courthouse in Monterey County, and the prosecution team received physical and technical support from the Monterey County District Attorney’s Office.
The case has been a long-standing one in the San Luis Obispo community and its resolution brings some measure of closure to the Smart family and the community as a whole, says the DA.