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Paul Flores’ attorney files for new trial and dismissal of charges prior to sentencing

Dave Alley / KEYT

MONTEREY COUNTY, Calif. – Paul Flores' attorney, Robert Sanger, has filed a series of motions to dismiss the October 2022 jury decision that found his client guilty for the murder of Cal Poly student Kristin Smart as well as a request for a new trial.

These motions come as Flores is scheduled to be sentenced on Friday, Mar. 10.

The motion cites a variety of issues that Sanger had during the prosecution including characterizing presented test results as "junk science" and arguing evidence such as search dog alerts and HemDirect soil tests as potential false positives.

Sanger wrote, "In opening statement, the prosecutor stated that the trailer was sprayed with Blue Star which reacts with human blood and it 'lit up like a Christmas tree.' Having made this dramatic statement, the prosecutor admitted that the lab tests showed that the spot was negative for human blood".

"There is a reason that a case against Paul Flores was not brought for 25 years," explained Sanger later in the motion while citing a summary from the FBI about the case that stated, "The prosecution has several formidable obstacles to overcome to successfully prosecute this case including no eyewitness to the murder, no body, no physical evidence, and no forensic evidence."

Sanger also indicated that the inclusion of a potential sexual assault biased the jury against Flores and that ultimately, the jury was presented a false choice in closing arguments based on mischaracterization of the defense's arguments saying, "the prosecutor was allowed to argue that the jury had a binary choice, to believe the defense contention that it was a conspiracy or to find the defendant guilty of first degree murder."

The case was heard in Monterey County Superior Court after a successful motion for a change of venue filed by Sanger in 2022.

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

Article Topic Follows: San Luis Obispo County
crime and courts
kristin smart murder trial
Monterrey County Superior Court
paul flores
san luis obispo county

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