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One of last people to see Kristin Smart before disappearance testifies at preliminary hearing

SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. – Day eight of the Paul and Ruben Flores preliminary hearing saw a former Cal Poly student take the witness stand.

Timothy Davis is believed to be one of the last people to see Kristin Smart alive before she disappeared Memorial Day weekend 1996.

Davis spoke in great detail about the off-campus party that is central to the case. Davis said he helped walk Smart partially back to the Muir Hall dormitory along with Paul Flores.

During Thursday's court session, Davis described seeing both Flores and Smart talking with each other at the party multiple times, and at one time saw them fall to the floor right in front of him. He said he did not know either of them, since they were both freshmen and he was a junior.

Towards the end of the party sometime after 1 a.m., Davis said he went outside and saw Smart asleep on a front lawn. He described her as intoxicated and extremely cold. He said he helped her off the lawn and determined she was not able to walk on her own, so he needed to hold her up.

Soon after, he decided to help walk Smart home, along with another woman, identified as his friend, Cheryl Anderson. As they were getting ready to leave, he said Flores emerged out of the darkness from the side of the house and joined in their group uninvited. The four of them then began to walk towards the dormitories onto the campus with Smart being assisted by Davis. After a while, they reached a point near the campus health center, when Anderson told Davis he could leave them and they could go back to the dorm without his assistance.

Davis lived nearby off-campus. Since they could see the dormitories off in the distance, Davis decided they would be able to make it back, so he passed off Smart to Flores. Davis said he then watched them for a few seconds walk off away towards the dormitories.

That's the only interaction he said he ever had with either Smart or Flores. Davis adding he's replayed the night many times in head, and recalls it vividly. Knowing what happened has weighed on him for 25 years, he said.

Under cross examination, defense attorneys brought up several statements Davis recently made in interviews with the SLO County DA's office including several pointed comments about his belief that Flores killed Smart. Among those, "I don't see any other person than Paul Flores as the guilty person in this case."

Davis emphatically denied accusations he was moulding his testimony to help the prosecution.

Paul Flores is believed to be the last person to see Kristin Smart alive. He's accused of killing Smart during an attempted rape in his dorm room. His father, Ruben Flores, has been charged as an accessory to the crime, accused of helping to conceal Smart's body.

Paul and Ruben Flores were arrested earlier this year in April. Both have pleaded not guilty to the charges. Paul Flores remains jailed without bail. Ruben Flores is out of custody after posting bail following his arrest.

This is the eighth day of the Flores preliminary hearing. In Wednesday's court session, the Flores defense team filed a motion to have Deputy District Attorney Chris Peuvrelle disqualified from the case due to accusations of bias – stemming from the color of ties he had worn throughout hearing.

The preliminary hearing is in its second week and is expected to last at least three weeks. At the end, a judge will rule if there is enough evidence for the case to go to trial.

Digital communication is limited during this preliminary hearing. Check back throughout the day for continuous updates.

Playlist: The Disappearance of Kristin Smart

Playlist: The Disappearance of Kristin Smart

Article Topic Follows: San Luis Obispo County

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Dave Alley

Dave Alley is a reporter and anchor at News Channel 3-12. To learn more about Dave, click here.


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