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Judge denies new trial and acquittal for Paul Flores in Kristin Smart Murder Case

MONTEREY COUNTY, Calif. – Judge Jennifer O'Keefe has denied the Paul Flores defense team's motion for a new trial and acquittal in the Kristin Smart Murder Case.

Flores appeared in a Monterey County courtroom on Friday for his sentencing, after a jury found him guilty in October of 2022 for the first-degree-murder of 19-year-old Kristin Smart following her disappearance from Cal Poly in 1996.

The judge denied an appeal on Friday that was put forth by Flores' defense attorney, Robert Sanger, on Feb. 28. for a new trial and an acquittal.

Flores defense attorney motioned to the court late last month asking Judge Jennifer O'Keefe to dismiss the October 2022 jury decision that found his client guilty for the murder of Smart as well as a request for a new trial.

Sanger's motion cited a variety of issues, including "prosecutorial error" from then-San Luis Obispo Deputy District Attorney Chris Peuvrelle (who now works as Assistant District Attorney at County of Monterey) during the case, as well including characterizing presented test results as "junk science," and arguing evidence such as search dog alerts and HemDirect soil tests as potential false positives.

O'Keefe disagreed on all points and rejected the both motions after more than two hours of arguments presented by Sanger.

The judge then announced sentencing for Flores will begin at 1:00 p.m. Friday.

It is expected several members of the Smart family will speak before O'Keefe delivers her decision on sentencing.

Flores is facing 25 years to life in state prison.

Stay tuned for News Channel for updates.

Flores' father, Ruben Flores, was charged as an accessory in this case, but he was acquitted in a separate jury trial.

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Article Topic Follows: Crime & Courts
kristin smart
kristin smart murder trial
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paul flores murder trial
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Lily Dallow

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