Paul Flores, the man convicted of killing Kirstin Smart, a California college student who disappeared in 1996, was sentenced Friday to 25 years to life in prison. He was not given any chance for parole.
Flores, now 46, was convicted in October of the first-degree murder of Smart, whose body has never been found. She was declared legally dead in 2002.
Smart, 19 years old at the time of her disappearance at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, where she and Flores were freshmen, was last seen alive around 2 a.m. on May 25, 1996.
I was intoxicated and leaving a party with Flores, who has long maintained his innocence. She has claimed that she walked Smart part of the way home before returning to her bedroom.
During the murder trial, prosecutors argued that the two returned to their bedroom together, where Flores killed Smart during an attempted rape.
Flores was arrested in 2021 along with his father, Rubén Flores, who was accused of helping his son cover up the crime. Father Flores was acquitted of being an accessory by a separate jury.
Before judgment of fridayMonterey County Superior Court Judge Jennifer O’Keefe considered defense motions to vacate Flores’ conviction, acquit him and order a new trial.
Attorney Robert Sanger filed the motion last month, alleging that Flores’ right to a fair trial was violated due to prosecuting errors and “the admission of junk science into evidence.”
“There’s a reason a case hasn’t been filed against Paul Flores for 25 years,” the motion says. “There was no evidence of a murder or that Paul Flores committed it.”
However, Judge O’Keefe denied the motion, denying any wrongdoing by the prosecution and calling Flores “a cancer to society.”
with cable news services