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HomeNewsVerdicts reached in 1996 disappearance and murder of California college student Kristin...

Verdicts reached in 1996 disappearance and murder of California college student Kristin Smart

Verdicts have been reached within the homicide trial into the demise of Kristin Good, a California faculty scholar who disappeared in 1996, in accordance with court docket officers. Prosecutors have mentioned she was killed by a classmate who had his father’s assist hiding her physique.

Paul Flores, 45, and his father, Ruben Flores, 81, had their circumstances heard concurrently however have been tried by totally different juries.

The youthful Flores was charged with first-degree homicide. Ruben Flores was charged with accent after the actual fact. Prosecutors have accused the youthful Flores of killing the school scholar and his father of serving to dispose her physique in his yard earlier than shifting it.

Authorities have by no means discovered Good’s physique. She was legally declared lifeless in 2002.

If convicted, Paul Flores faces a sentence of 25 years to life. His father, if convicted, faces a most sentence of three years in jail, in accordance with NBC affiliate KSBY of San Luis Obispo.

The verdicts will probably be learn back-to-back Tuesday afternoon, in accordance with officers from Monterey County Superior Courtroom.

A juror within the Ruben Flores case was dismissed Thursday after telling Choose Jennifer O’Keefe that he had mentioned the case for strictly non secular steerage together with his priest as a result of it was inflicting him stress, KSBY reported.

The juror mentioned he didn’t talk about specifics of the case. An alternate juror was sworn in, and O’Keefe informed the jury to “start deliberations anew” to catch the juror up, in accordance with KSBY.

Prosecutors mentioned Paul Flores killed 19-year-old Good throughout an tried rape on Might 25, 1996, in his dorm room at California Polytechnic State College in San Luis Obispo. He was the final particular person seen with a really intoxicated Good, prosecutors mentioned.

Prosecutors offered proof that confirmed Good’s physique might have been buried underneath a deck behind Ruben Flores’ house in Arroyo Grande.

He’s accused of serving to bury the scholar and digging up the stays and shifting them years later, prosecutors mentioned.

Paul Flores had lengthy been thought of a suspect within the killing, however prosecutors arrested him and his father solely in 2021, after the investigation was reactivated.

San Luis Obispo Sheriff Ian Parkinson acknowledged missteps by detectives over time and credited a preferred podcast about Good’s disappearance, known as “Your individual Yard,” for serving to unearth info and galvanizing witnesses to talk with authorities.

Investigators have carried out dozens of searches over 20 years, however solely just lately turned their consideration to Ruben Flores’ house, about 12 miles south of Cal Poly.

Behind lattice work underneath the deck of his giant home on a dead-end road off Tally Ho Highway, archaeologists working for police in March 2021 discovered a soil disturbance concerning the dimension of a casket and the presence of human blood, prosecutors mentioned.

The blood was too degraded to extract a DNA pattern. Whereas a blood skilled mentioned it was human blood, the check used didn’t rule out the potential of it being from a ferret or ape, although court docket information mentioned no stays of such an animal have been discovered there.

Lawyer James Murphy has sued Ruben Flores on behalf of Good’s dad and mom and alleged him and unnamed accomplices moved the physique 4 days after investigators searched his home in February 2020. Investigators didn’t conduct their dig beneath the deck till greater than a 12 months later.

San Luis Obispo Superior Courtroom Choose Craig Van Rooyen ordered the pair to trial after a 22-day preliminary listening to during which he discovered a “robust suspicion” the daddy and son dedicated the crimes they have been charged with, and {that a} grave existed underneath Ruben Flores’ deck that after held Good’s stays.

Lawyer Harold Mesick, who represents Ruben Flores, beforehand mentioned the proof unearthed was ambiguous. He mentioned that soil underneath the deck had been dumped there after being excavated to put a basis close by.

“It was a scorching mess as a result of it’s been beforehand excavated,” Mesick mentioned. “If we even name it proof, it’s so minimal as to shock the conscience.”

Rooyen in March granted a change of venue request figuring out the defendants couldn’t get a good trial in San Luis Obispo County, in accordance t KSBY. The circumstances have been tried in Monterey County Superior Courtroom in Salinas.

The prosecution rested its case towards the Flores’ males on Sept. 20 — after greater than two months of witness testimony, in accordance with The Tribune Newspaper which covers San Luis Obispo County.

KSBY reported attorneys representing the defendants rested their circumstances on Sept. 27.

Donna Mendell contributed.

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