Jury selection complete for Paul Flores; date for Ruben Flores jury selection to be determined
SAN LUIS OBISPO — Opening statements in the murder trial for Paul and Ruben Flores have been rescheduled to begin July 18 in Monterey County Superior Court, 12 days after its original July 6 date.
Court Executive Officer Chris Ruhl announced on Tuesday the trial is being pushed back due to “a health concern among one of the trial participants.”
Juror selection was underway on Monday, June 27, after being delayed one week, again for health concerns from one of the trial participants.
Paul Flores (45) is charged with the murder of Kristin Smart, a 19-year-old Cal Poly student who was last seen leaving an off-campus party with Paul Flores in 1996. His father, Ruben (81), is accused of aiding his son in hiding Smart’s body.
Although her remains have never been found, Smart was legally declared dead in 2002.
San Luis Obispo County Judge Craig van Rooyen ruled the father and son would not receive a fair trial in San Luis Obispo County, resulting in the men and trial moving to Salinas.
After another delay on Monday, jury selection for Paul Flores began. More than 1,300 prospective jurors were screened the week of June 13. Voir dire, the jury selection process, resulted in approximately 270 for Paul’s jury pool and 120 for Ruben’s.
Throughout the jury selection, jurors were excused on various reason, many being the inability to be impartial. Each defendant will have 20 jurors.
More pretrial motions are expected to be heard from July 6 through 8, with Ruben’s jury selection from July 11 to 15.
Paul and Ruben Flores were arrested at their homes in April 2021, nearly 25 years after Smart’s disappearance.