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Deliberations begin for Paul Flores in Kristin Smart murder trial

SALINAS, Calif. – Defense Attorney Robert Sanger wrapped up his closing arguments for Paul Flores on Tuesday in the Kristin Smart murder trial, recapping all the evidence presented by the prosecution.

Ultimately, he said there is no evidence to convict Paul Flores.

Paul Flores is accused of killing Smart, who was a 19-year-old Cal Poly student at the time of her disappearance in May 1996, and Ruben Flores, Paul's father, is being charged as an accessory to the crime.

Sanger talked about the witnesses, what he called the “scientific evidence, but no evidence was involved,” and a recap of what happened the night Smart disappeared.

He also mentioned the blood soil samples and said “there is no validation study for ‘hem’ direct soil.”

The defense attorney constantly reminded the jurors that whatever lawyers say, they will say it in good hope.

But ultimately it is the jury’s decision.

Sanger wrapped up by saying that what’s important are the facts and the law, and that the prosecution has a burden to overcome this innocence because Kristin Smart’s body has not been found.

Sanger finished and said “the only proper verdict is not guilty.”

Deputy District Attorney Chris Puevrelle then proceeded with a rebuttal.

Puevrelle said the defense team said the prosecution's case is only conspiracy.

The Deputy District Attorney said Sanger is absurd to have the jury believe 50 witnesses are involved in a grand conspiracy, six dogs are on it and even the media is on it.

Puevrelle continued on to talk about the evidence and the night Smart disappeared, saying that the jury had to see things no human being should.

Puevrelle said “there is no doubt Kristin Smart was dead.”

He said that in order to find Paul Flores not guilty, the jury would have to believe that a serial rapist took Kristin Smart by himself to his dorm room, by herself, and let her go and live her life.

Puevrelle continued to say that every witness was insulted up at the stand.

He finished and said “sometimes we tell our kids monsters do not exist, and that's not true, we've seen one in this trial.”

Defense Attorney Robert Sanger placed a motion for a mistrial, but Judge Jennifer O’Keefe denied it.

O'Keefe then proceeded with giving Paul Flores’ jury two verdict forms – one is guilty and the other is not guilty – and she reminded the jury to not hesitate to change their mind, but to keep an open mind.

She also asked the jury to not talk about the case or any kind of media related to the case.

The only time the jury can talk about the case is during deliberations.

Paul Flores’ jury was dismissed for deliberation around 3:00 p.m. on Tuesday afternoon.

Jury instructions proceeded by Judge O'Keefe.

Closing arguments for Ruben Flores will begin on Wednesday morning.

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Karen Cruz-Orduña

Karen Cruz-Orduña is a reporter for News Channel 3-12. To learn more about Karen, click here.

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