Suspects to stand trial in Kristin Smart disappearance


SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. (AP) — The man last seen with Kristin Smart before she vanished from a college campus 25 years ago on the Central California coast will stand trial on a murder charge in her suspected death and his father will face a charge as an accomplice for allegedly helping bury her body, a judge ruled Wednesday.

San Luis Obispo Superior Court Judge Craig van Rooyen said there was probable cause Paul Flores, 44, killed Smart and that Ruben Flores, 80, helped him dispose of her body.

Paul Flores was the last person seen with a very intoxicated Smart on May 25, 1996, as he helped walk her to her dorm at California Polytechnic State University after a party, witnesses said. Prosecutors said he killed Smart while trying to rape her in his dorm room.

Prosecutors presented evidence that showed Smart’s body may have been buried under a deck behind Ruben Flores’s home. Prosecutors said the body had been moved from that location and it’s never been found.

Defense attorneys said prosecutors did not present enough evidence during a 22-day preliminary hearing to support the criminal charges.

Both men have pleaded not guilty.

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