The Kristin Smart case preliminary hearing for Paul and Ruben Flores continued last Thursday August 12 with testimonies from two parties. Timothy Davis took the stand first and recalled the evening of the Crandall Way party. Then, Jennifer Hudson testified about a time she was with Paul and he confessed to her.
Jennifer Hudson was called to the stand to recall her experience with Paul in the summer of 1996.
She said that she and a group of people were hanging out in San Luis Obispo, with three of the people in earshot of a radio. Those three people were Hudson, her friend Randy, or “Red,” and Paul.
The radio played a public service announcement about the disappearance of Kristin Smart, asking for those with any information to go to the police. She then recalls Paul saying, “The b***h was a d**k tease and I’m done playing with her. I put her out underneath my ramp in Huasna.”
Hudson said she then got up and left the group while “Red” talked to her about how he went to school with Paul. He tells Hudson to not take him seriously and that he told “tall tales” in high school all the time.
The next time Hudson said she saw Paul was the end of the summer of 1996 when she was driving two people out to skateboard at a ramp in Huasna. Hudson said she followed a white four-wheel drive truck to the ramp and, as soon as she got out of her car, Paul got out of the truck.
Hudson said Paul asked her to go skinny dipping. She vomited, got in her car and drove away, leaving the people she brought there.
The defense asked Hudson about distinctive features of the man she claimed was Paul. She described him as very pale with dead eyes, like “there was just no soul.” When Mesick questioned her on the color of the eyes, she couldn’t recall.
The defense attorneys also questioned why Hudson did not tell anyone about her encounter until 2002 and didn’t tell law enforcement until 2019. Hudson said that she was a “scared kid,” but that she regrets her decision to stay quiet every day.
Hudson told her roommate Justin Goodwin about her experience with Paul for the first time in 2002. She later found out that he submitted her story to a tip line in 2004, leading to Chris Lambert’s discovery of the story while researching for his podcast, “Your Own Backyard.”
Goodwin suggested she talk to Lambert to give him more precise details on the location and story. Hudson first spoke to Lambert, then to Detective Clint Cole in November of 2019. She later took them out to the area where the ramp used to be.
Towards the end of the day, questions arose about Hudson’s sobriety during her encounters with Paul and she denied using any substances during that time.
Cal Poly alumn Timothy Davis was at the party at 135 Crandall Way celebrating two 21st birthdays the night Smart disappeared. He said the party started as a barbeque around 7:30 p.m. and had about 30 to 40 people. Davis’ sobriety was questioned by the defense and he said he had six to seven beers over the span of nearly five hours.
When it came to Smart and Paul, Davis said “they both seemed intoxicated.”
He recalls them falling on the floor together, which the defense challenged Davis seeing the actual action of. Davis said he heard a “thud” and saw both of them on the ground.
Towards the end of the party, Davis helped load partygoers into his car that his friend was going to drive back to the dorms. He says that he saw his friend Cheryl Anderson miss the ride and decided to walk her back to the dorms himself.
Davis then recalls first seeing Smart laying facedown on the lawn next to the driveway of the Crandall house. He helped her up from the grass, noticing how cold it was, and said that Smart had goosebumps.
“I’m cold,” he remembered Smart saying as she wrapped her arms around his shoulders in order to be supported enough to stand.
Davis said that he started walking with Anderson and Smart back to the dorms when Paul “came out of the darkness” to walk with them. Davis said that once they reached the Health Center on campus, Anderson said Davis did not need to walk them the rest of the way. Paul told him to some degree, “I’ll take Kristin, give her to me.”
Details noted by Davis included the grass that Smart was laying on being wet with dew, her and Paul stumbling up the hill after he left and that Smart may have been taller than Flores.
Defense Attorney Robert Sanger challenges Davis’ motives for his story, by citing him saying in an interview to do things the “western way” and just shoot Paul. Defense Attorney Harold Mesick brought up a similar point, accusing Davis of tailoring his testimony to the prosecution by bringing up a quote where Davis said “I want to put this f***ing guy away, I am happy to do whatever I can.”
Davis confirms he said both statements.
“I don’t see anyone else but Paul Flores as the guilty person in this case,” Davis said. Yet he assured that he was telling the truth.
“I have a really good memory of this because it is something I have rehashed over the last 25 years,” Davis said. “Twenty-five years of this night and knowing Kristin is gone and dead is a lot of weight on me.”
The trial will continue this week and is adjourned until Wednesday morning. Both sides agreed to the break while they work out discovery issues.