The Monterey County Superior Courthouse, Monday, Oct.17, 2022.
The Monterey County Superior Courthouse, Monday, Oct.17, 2022. Credit: Laura Dickinson | SLO Tribune

On Tuesday, the jury reached a verdict on the 1996 Kristin Smart case – Paul Flores was found guilty of the murder of Smart, a 19-year-old Cal Poly student at the time, and his father, Ruben Flores, was found not guilty as an accessory to the murder. 

Cal Poly President Jeffrey Armstrong sent out a university-wide email addressing the community, shortly after the verdict was announced.   

“Today’s guilty verdict is a welcome development in the pursuit of justice, and our university community hopes this verdict brings some comfort and a measure of resolution to Kristin’s loved ones,” Armstrong wrote. 

Resources for students were provided to process the verdicts, including services with Campus Health and Wellbeing. The services offered to students and staff include setting an appointment with a Safer Confidential Advocate individually or inviting one as professional support amongst friends.

Council Services will also offer a drop-in space on Zoom tomorrow from 1 to 2 p.m. 

“Students, please know that our Student Affairs staff is here to support you with a variety of resources and caring staff from Safer, Counseling Services, and the Office of the Dean of Students, just to name a few,” Armstrong wrote. “We are here for you.”    

Armstrong additionally acknowledged the efforts of the San Luis Obispo law enforcement and Chris Lambert, the creator and host of the “Your Own Backyard” podcast, who has documented the case since 2019.

“On behalf of the entire university community, I offer our thanks to Sheriff Ian Parkinson, all law enforcement investigators, District Attorney Dan Dow and prosecutors who have pursued the case,” Armstrong added. “We also wish to join many across California and the US in thanking Chris Lambert for his efforts.”

To honor Smart’s memory and the conclusion of the trial, there will be a student-led vigil this Friday, Oct. 21. More information can be found on Safer’s Instagram page