Expert analyzes Kristin Smart murder trial
Criminal defense attorney Mark Eiglarsh analyzes the Kristin Smart murder case before Paul Flores was ultimately convicted.
Paul Flores, the man convicted and sentenced to 25 years to life in prison for the kidnapping and murder of California college student Kristin Smart, was attacked in prison and hospitalized, according to his attorney.
Flores, 45, was convicted last October for killing Smart, a 19-year-old California Polytechnic State University student who vanished in 1996 before she was declared dead in 2002.
The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation said Flores was transported to a hospital in serious condition Wednesday from Pleasant Valley State Prison in Coalinga, which could not confirm the attack, saying the details of Flores’ injury were under investigation.
“I just pray for his recovery,” his attorney, Harold Mesick, told The Associated Press.
KRISTIN SMART KILLER PAUL FLORES SENTENCED TO 25 YEARS TO LIFE FOR CALIFORNIA MURDER
Kristin Smart’s murderer, Paul Flores, was attacked in prison and hospitalized in serious condition, according to his lawyer. (FBI/San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Office via AP)
Mesick said the prison contacted him on Wednesday to inform him about the attack but could not share any additional details.
While studying at Cal Poly’s San Luis Obispo campus in 1996, Smart became heavily intoxicated at a party that Flores had also attended while they were both freshmen. The 19-year-old walked home with Flores and two others — a man and a woman, who separated from the group when Flores insisted that he would get Smart home safely.
Flores, 45, was convicted last October for killing Smart, a 19-year-old California Polytechnic State University student who vanished in 1996 before she was declared dead in 2002. (David Middlecamp/The Tribune (of San Luis Obispo))
She vanished that night, and a massive search ensued. Her remains still have yet to be recovered.
CALIFORNIA JURIES FIND PAUL FLORES GUILTY, RUBEN FLORES NOT GUILTY IN KRISTIN SMART’S 1996 DEATH
California prosecutors said Flores likely killed Smart in his dorm room while trying to rape her. They further alleged that his father, Ruben Flores, helped him bury her body under the deck of their Arroyo Grande home and later dig up the remains before prosecutors were able to search the property decades later.
A jury eventually found Ruben Flores not guilty for acting as an accessory after the crime.
Kristin Smart was in her first year at Cal Poly when she vanished in 1996. She was declared legally dead in 2002, despite her body having never been found. (Don Kelsen/Los Angeles Times)
Investigators found what appeared to be a burial site with the presence of human blood beneath the Flores’ deck in March 2021, but the blood was too degraded to be analyzed and identified.
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Paul Flores had been a prime suspect in Smart’s disappearance since the outset of authorities’ investigation. He had a black eye after Smart vanished and changed his story about how he got the injury, according to court records.
Flores is appealing his conviction.
Stephanie Pagones and The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Audrey Conklin is a digital reporter for Fox News Digital and FOX Business. Email tips to [email protected] or on Twitter at @audpants.