A pre-trial hearing is scheduled for June 6
SAN LUIS OBISPO COUNTY — A date has been set for the first hearing of the Flores trial since its move to Salinas in Monterey County.
According to the court’s online calendar, the first hearing will take place on Monday, June 6, at 8:30 a.m., with Judge Jennifer O’Keefe presiding. The hearing is described to be “pre-trial: motions in limine.”
Paul and Ruben Flores are charged in connection with the 1996 murder and disappearance of Cal Poly student Kristin Smart (19).
Judge Craig van Rooyen granted Paul and Ruben Flores’s lawyers’ request for a change of venue on March 30. It was announced during a change of venue hearing on April 20 that the trial would be moved to Monterey County. Monterey Superior Court officials later confirmed the trial will take place in Salinas, with Judge Jennifer O’Keefe overseeing the trial — meaning San Luis Obispo County Judge Craig van Rooyen will not be following the trial to Salinas.
According to the same court calendar, the following weeks in June will be sent selecting the jury — and starting July 6, the calendar says the Paul and Ruben Flores’ defense team will make their opening statements.
Of course, as with most court trials, dates are subject to change.
On Tuesday, May 31, there were 20 sealed court documents filed by Paul Flores and The People of the State of California (prosecution). According to the court website, the documents were labeled as motions, orders, affidavits, and proof.
Smart was last seen with Paul Flores leaving an off-campus party on Crandall Way in San Luis Obispo on May 25, 1996. Although her remains have never been found, Smart was legally declared dead in 2002.
Paul Flores is charged with her murder. His father, Ruben Flores, is charged as an accessory after the fact, accused of helping hide Smart’s body. Paul Flores has remained in custody at the San Luis Obispo County Jail without bail since his arrest. Ruben Flores is currently out on bail.
Paul and Ruben Flores were arrested at their homes in April 2021, nearly 25 years after Smart’s disappearance.
Monterey Court Officials confirmed with Atascadero News that as of today, hearings will not be available to watch online.
This is a developing story that will be updated as more information is available.