Defense continued to question Detective about other potential suspects as Kristin Smart Murder Case Continues

By Camille DeVaul and Patrick Patton

SAN LUIS OBISPO — The Flores preliminary hearing heads into its second week on Monday, August 9. 


Last week, nearly a dozen people were called to the stand. Witnesses included Stand and Denise Smart, Detective Clint Cole, and former Cal Poly students.

Today’s hearing went on the records just before 10:30 am.

The prosecution, represented by Deputy District Attorney Chris Peuvrelle, called Detective Clinton Cole back to the stand.

Detective Clinton Cole

Paul Flores’s defense attorney, Robert Sanger, then took over to continue his cross-examination of Det. Cole from Thursday, Aug. 5.

Sanger continued to question Det. Cole on other potential suspects in Kristin’s disappearance.

Det. Cole was questioned on a man named Shahn, who reportedly admitted to lighting Kristin’s shoes on fire and leaving them on her doorstep with a mean note in Feb. 1996. However, the two reportedly “made up” afterward.

Sanger then asked about someone by the name of Yanish who was reported for being a peeping Tom by Kristin.

Sanger introduced Defense Exhibit 625, an FBI questionnaire filled out March 11, 1999 by a student named Janusz, who said he lived in the same dorm as Kristin. Sanger indicates that Janusz and Yanish are the same person which Peuvrelle objects saying there is no indication that this person was the same Yanish.

A man named Ted reportedly stayed in Kristin’s dorm room with her roommate. Finally, a man named Felipe was brought up. Det. Cole said Felipe told investigators he last saw Kristin the night before she went missing because she stayed in his Trinity Hall dorm room and that they were “really good friends.”

Ted was interviewed in May of 2002 and submitted to a polygraph which indicated no “deception,” and Ted was later considered not a viable suspect.

A man named Sean was ruled out because he reportedly left for San Franciso on Thursday, May 23, 1996, for his sister’s graduation and did not return until Sunday morning around 2 am.

Next, Sanger questioned Det. Cole on a report that Kristin had gotten in an argument with someone at a concert at the San Luis Obispo Veterans Hall in early May. A Crime Stoppers tip suggested the man, Trent, was believed to be a pimp in SLO and was later convicted of murder in San Diego.

Trent was a pimp who frequented bars in SLO and drove the streets looking for drunk girls to give a ride home. It was reported he had a stripper named Roxy that worked for him. 

Trent also ran a modeling agency named SLO Models as a front for prostitution. There is reportedly no information to substantiate Kristin was ever an escort or model for Trent.

Again, Sanger discussed Scott Peterson being a potential suspect.

Det. Cole did determine that Scott and Laci Peterson attended Cal Poly at the same time as Kristin. 

Sanger referred to a report from Modesto Police Department Officer, Brocchini, who received a tip from someone who knew Peterson in 1995. That person reportedly had a conversation with Peterson in which he said if he killed someone, he would “tie a bag around the neck with duct tape” and throw the body into the sea.

Det. Cole again clarified that the tip was reported and came from a woman who believed that information to be true. 

Sanger then brought up another report stating Modesta Police spoke to Peterson’s brother, Mark, who told police Scott said, “boy, I hope they don’t search in my pond” when referring to Kristin Smart. 

According to Defense Exhibit 623, a report dated July 29, 2004, the Sheriff’s dive team searched several ponds on ranches in Morro Bay with possible ties to Peterson, and did not find “anything of evidentiary value.” 

When questioned by Peuvrelle, Det. Cole said that according to Det. Crawford’s reports he confirmed that neither Laci or Scott Peterson were at the party with Kristin on Crandall Way. 

Det. Cole confirmed there is no evidence to link Scott Peterson to Kristin.

Sanger asked Det. Cole, how many hours of wiretapping was done on the Flores family in 2020. Det. Cole could not confirm how many hours but did say it was a 30-day wiretap.

Sanger asked Det. Cole, if he remembers that law enforcement gave the podcaster “false information” regarding a truck to generate a discussion in the Flores family. Det. Cole said yes.

Later Sanger questioned Det. Cole, if he assumed Kristin was not alive– Det. Cole answered yes. 

Sanger then followed up by saying Det. Cole has evidence of the location of Kristin’s remains. Judge Van Rooyen sustained Peuvrelle’s objection that this is outside the scope of the cross-examination.

During Chambers this morning, the defense objected to the upcoming witness, Angie.

That morning in court, it was said Angie would take the stand around 1:30 pm. 

Peuvrelle said Angie is planning to testify about an incident at Ruben Flores’s home when she attempted to walk towards an avocado tree. Angie planned to also testify about Paul’s behavior, an incident where he held a knife to her neck, and another time when he told her he needed to come clean about something but blacked out before he could tell her.

Sanger objected, saying it was a butter knife, and Angie refers to “horseplay,” but after listening to the podcast, she said she might have further information. Sagner stated none of this has relevance to the case. 

Peuvrelle stated that Sanger did not mention the avocado trees because investigators found evidence there while serving a search warrant in March 2021.

Ultimately, Judge van Rooyen said he would allow Angie to be questioned about her visit to Arroyo Grande involving the avocado trees, but other materials will be excluded on the grounds that it is “character evidence.”

However, Angie did not take the stand on Monday. The court was adjourned at about 4:30 pm. It was not specified when Angie would testify.

The hearing will resume on Tuesday around 9:00 am.

The names of all witnesses mentioned will be addressed by first name only to protect their identity in accordance with court orders.