Credit: Courtesy | San Luis Obispo County Jail

Editors note: the story was edited to restructure the paragraphs and a few language modifications were made.

After a weeks long preliminary trial, it was decided this morning that Paul and Ruben Flores will be tried for the murder and accessory to murder, respectively, of Kristin Smart. 

Presiding Judge Craig van Rooyen said that the probable cause standard had been met and therefore a trial would be granted. 

Van Rooyen explained what brought him to this decision while going through the timeline of evidence involving the night Kristin disappeared. He sited evidence such as Paul having contact with Smart at the Crandall Way party the night of her disappearance, as well as Paul being aware of Kristin’s high level of intoxication due to her laying on the front yard. Van Rooyen also said that Paul joined the group walking back and encouraged Cheryl Anderson to leave the group while asking her for a hug and a kiss. 

Van Rooyen said that there were no credible sightings of Kristin after her disappearance.

“Miss Smart never returned to her room,” van Rooyen said about the night that Smart disappeared.

He referenced the defense’s evidence in saying that Kristin would disappear for days and said “that behavior does not explain a 25 year disappearance.”

Other evidence that brought the ruling was Paul lying about his black eye, which showed up after the night Smart disappeared, and the multiple cadaver dog alerts in Paul’s dorm room that were only on his side of the room and his mattress. 

The last evidence van Rooyen included was the staining in the dirt under the deck at Ruben’s house, as well as the stain testing positive for blood. There was enough evidence to support a burial under the deck, staining that would’ve been caused before the source was removed. 

This evidence led to Ruben facing trial for accessory, since the “burial was in an area Ruben had control over,” according to van Rooyen. 

The superior court arraignment date is set for Oct. 20 at 8:30 a.m. It will be in person at the San Luis Obispo County Superior Courthouse.

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