Paul Flores appears in court via Zoom for his hearing on Dec. 2, 2022. Credit: Chloe Jones / SLO Tribune

Editor’s note: Mustang News has covered the People v. Flores murder trial every day from the courthouse. Follow @CPMustangNews on Twitter and Instagram for more updates. Read previous articles about the trial here.

Paul Flores’ sentencing for the murder of Kristin Smart will now be held March 10, postponed from the original Dec. 9 date.  

But the Court will first have to decide on the defense’s motion for a new trial.

Flores was convicted on Oct. 18 for the first degree murder of Smart — a verdict that came 26 years after she went missing as a Cal Poly freshman in 1996.

Flores’ defense attorney, Robert Sanger, filed a motion on Nov.18 asking to delay his client’s sentencing. In a hearing that took place Friday morning, Judge Jeniffer O’Keefe said that prosecutor Christopher Peuvrelle recently filed an opposition to Sanger’s motion — which included a letter from the Smart family asking for the sentencing not to be pushed back. 

O’Keefe agreed to set Flores’ hearing for March 10, canceling his original Dec. 9 sentencing to make time for the defense to build a case for a new trial.

On March 10, O’Keefe will hear Sanger’s motion. If his motion is denied, O’Keefe will then set Flores’ sentence on that same date.

Flores is facing anywhere from 25 years to life.

On Friday, Sanger told O’Keefe that his legal team requires official transcripts of court proceedings in order to present the motion in court. The transcripts, according to the court recorder, will take about 60 days to be produced from the time they are requested. 

“Giving us time to do a proper job is not outweighed by the desire to go to sentencing as quickly as we could,” Sanger said on Friday. 

Sanger asked for transcripts of the entire trial, specifically requesting transcripts from jury selection because of “a reason with regard to a few individuals.”  

Sanger told the court that his team has “discovered some new information since the time of the verdict,” although he did not specify what argument he will present when making the motion for a new trial. 

In his motion to delay the sentencing, Sanger said that postponing would also give the prosecution time to respond to his motion. 

March 10 will mark Sanger’s 10th motion for a new trial throughout the case. 

The next hearing will take place on Feb. 9 — a status hearing to ensure that the attorneys are on track to file their motions.