Court heard from another cadaver dog handler and fiber specialist on day 15 of the preliminary hearing
SAN LUIS OBISPO — Day 15 of the preliminary hearing for Paul (44) and Ruben (80) Flores continued on Tuesday, Aug. 31, with testimonies from another dog handler, an expert in fiber evidence, a district attorney’s office investigator, and San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Detective Clint Cole.
Det. Cole was the last to take the stand on Tuesday but revealed a conversation he had with Ruben Flores on May 19, 2021.
Det. Cole came to Ruben’s residence in Arroyo Grande with a warrant to collect DNA swaps from Ruben, Susan Flores, and her boyfriend, Mike McConville.
According to Det. Cole, Ruben asked why Cole was collecting evidence from all three of them when he was the only one who committed a felony. Cole said Ruben then clarified that he meant he was the only one of the three who had been arrested.
His testimony is expected to continue on Wednesday.
On Tuesday morning, cadaver dog handler Wayne Behrens continued his testimony from Monday.
Like the other two dog handlers, Adela Morris and Gail LaRoque, who took the stand previously, Behrens and his dog, Sierra, were involved in a search of the Cal Poly campus on Jun. 29, 1996.
Behrens said Sierra jumped up on the door of room 128, which was Paul’s dorm on the Cal Poly campus, and alerted to a mattress on the left side of the room.
Prior to that, Behrens said Sierra showed interest outside the same dorm room along with the bushes and the room’s window line and window frame.
Like the other two handlers, Behrens did not know any details on the case. He also testified that his dog is only trained to track human remains.
After Behrens, Faye Springer, a retired criminalist specializing in trace evidence analysis, took the stand.
Springer testified about her examination of fibers that were sent to her for the Smart case by the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Office. She was sent red, blue, and black fibers with some light colors that were found in soil. She added the red fibers did not look very old.
Kristin Smart was reportedly wearing red shoes before her disappearance.
The defense asked if it would be unusual to find fibers at a construction site. Springer said, “no.”
Springer added the fibers could not be compared to anything but were made of cotton and synthetic material. She said she could not assign any forensic significance to the fibers. However, if other clothing was found she could compare the fibers to it.
District Attorney Investigator James Camp also took the stand on Tuesday, testifying about the layout of the Cal Poly dorms where Kristin lived before she disappeared.
Camp attended Cal Poly as a student from 1991 to 1995.
He is expected to be called to the witness stand again during the preliminary hearing.
The father and son are charged in connection with the 1996 disappearance and murder of 19-year-old Cal Poly student Kristin Smart. Paul has been charged with her murder, and Ruben is being charged with accessory after the fact.
Both men were arrested in April. Ruben is out on bail, but Paul remains in the San Luis Obispo County jail with no bail.
Kristin’s remains have never been found, but she was declared legally dead in 2002.
The preliminary hearing will continue on Wednesday, Sept. 1, at 9 a.m.
It was also announced that podcaster Chris Lambert’s objection to his subpoena will be heard on Sept. 8, at 9 a.m.