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Paul Flores was found responsible for Kristin Smart’s death or disappearance.

Paul Flores was found responsible for Kristin Smart's death or disappearance
Image Credit by The New York Times

Tuesday saw the sentencing of a school friend of Kristin Smart, a Californian college student whose 1996 abduction had long been among the most dramatic unsolved crimes in the state, for first-degree homicide in relation to her passing.

At the end of a three-month trial, a 12-member jury found Paul Flores, 45, guilty in Monterey County’s Superior Court. He was apprehended as well as charged in connection to Smart’s death in the spring of last year.

Kristin Smart’s profile:

Paul Flores was arrested for the murder of American woman Kristin Denise Smart (born February 20, in the year of 1977; legally deceased on May 25, 2002) at the completion of her first semester.

Smart traveled to an off-campus event on May 25, 1996, sponsored by a fellow Cal Poly University student. She was discovered asleep on a neighbor’s lawn at around 2 a.m., and two students started helping her in going to her dorm room. Because Paul Flores, a third student, resided close to Smart’s dorm, he promised the other two classes that he would get Kristin home without incident. Searches made after Smart disappeared have turned up nothing; she has never been seen again.

Paul Flores was found guilty:

A court in Monterey County found Paul Flores convicted of first-degree manslaughter; he now stands a term of 25 years to life. The father, Ruben Flores, has recently been convicted as a participant after the incident.

The trials of Paul Flores, 45, and her father, 81, were heard simultaneously by various juries. On Tuesday afternoon, the judgments were read one by one.

Smart’s body was never located by investigators. In 2002, she was formally declared deceased.

Who is Kristin Smart

Image Credit by People

Paul Flores did not respond:

So, when the guilty decision was read, Paul Flores stayed quiet, according to NBC affiliate KSBY in San Luis Obispo. Behind him on the chair was his father, who showed no emotion.

Many of Smart’s relatives were present in the courtroom, and as the verdicts were read, her mother and sister sobbed for a moment.

“Without Kristin, there is no joy or happiness in this verdict,” Smart’s dad, Stan Smart, said in reaction to the verdict. “With today’s divided verdicts, we learned that our 26-year fight for Kristin’s vengeance will endure.”

Dan Dow, the state’s attorney for San Luis Obispo County, said that “justice postponed is not fairness denied” today.

According to KSBY, Paul Flores’ sentence is scheduled on December 9.

Investigation of this disappearance:

The state claims that on May 25 in the year 1996, Paul Flores killed 19-year-old Smart in her college dorm at Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo during a rape case. Prosecutors alleged that he was the last person to be spotted with a very drunk Smart.

According to the prosecutors, Ruben Flores’ house in Arroyo Grande could have a deck behind it where Smart’s body could have been buried.

Prosecutors claimed that he helped in Smart’s burial and then dug up and relocated Smart’s bones years later.

After the verdicts on Tuesday, Ruben Flores stated outside of the court that neither he nor his son seemed to have any proof against him.

He replied, “We have no idea what has happened to the daughter. While Paul Flores had long been thought to be a suspect, it wasn’t until last year when the investigation was restarted, and prosecutors arrested him, his father.

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