The preliminary hearing for Paul and Ruben Flores continues today at 9 a.m. Last week ended with the people’s motion to submit evidence of sexual misconduct, testimony from alleged sexual assault survivors and pornography and home videos found on Paul’s computer and Chief Investigator Willian Hanley being called as a witness.
Submitting New Evidence
Judge van Rooyen denied the motion to include the evidence and reminded all that he will rule at the end of the hearing if there is probable cause for murder, not rape.
The evidence cited by Deputy District Attorney Christopher Peuvrelle included testimony from five women who either experienced or their friend experienced being drugged or raped by Paul. Evidence found on the computer included home videos of alleged sexual misconduct and rape fantasy porn.
Defense Attorney Robert Sanger argued that the evidence is remote in time and that there is no offense tied to it or no evidence of one. Sanger said that Peuvrelle was stating the motion “dramatically” and claims it is not relevant.
Additional reasoning for Judge van Rooyen’s ruling included that he believes the evidence carried the risk that “prejudice will outweigh probative value.” This means that the evidence could allow the future jury to characterize Paul without the basis of relevance to the murder trial.
Chief Investigator William Hanley
The only witness of the day called was Hanley, a sworn peace officer who has been with the San Luis Obispo Police Department and the District Attorney’s office since the 80s.
Hanley conducted interviews about Kristin Smart’s disappearance with Paul on May 31 and June 19 of 1996. Within these two interviews, Paul was willing to answer any questions and talk to investigators.
According to his interviews, Paul’s timeline of the night of the disappearance started with him getting off work at the campus grocery store. He then went to his Santa Lucia redbrick dorm and played pool in the common area. In the time before he left campus, he drank two beers and took one in his sweatshirt when he left to go to his sister Ermalinda’s house.
Paul then saw the party at 135 Crandall Way and described it as, “25% women, 75% men.”
During his interview in 1996, Paul denied contacting, touching or talking to Smart at the party before walking back to the dorms with her, Tim Davis and Cheryl Anderson. He said that she introduced herself as “Roxy,” and that he “didn’t like those type of girls” when asked if he found her attractive.
Paul said that he had seven to eight cups of beer from the keg at the party and described his level of intoxication at the end of the party as a 7 to 8 out of ten.
As Paul described it in 1996, the party ran out of beer around 2:30 a.m. He went outside and saw a girl he knew from his statistics class, who was Anderson. They walked back together and Anderson parted at Grand Avenue, Smart parted at Muir Hall.
When asked why he did not walk Smart, which he described as “obviously intoxicated,” back to her dorm, Paul replied that he “didn’t even think about it.”
The follow up interview occurred on June 19, 1996. Hanley and his partner arrived at 710 White Court and brought Paul to Arroyo Grande’s Police Department to take a polygraph and be interviewed.
Despite previously agreeing to do the polygraph test, Paul declined.
A topic focused on in the interview was the shower that Paul took at 5 a.m. on the morning after the disappearance, because he had a bad taste in his mouth after throwing up. Hanley asked him why he did not just brush his teeth instead of showering. Paul replied that he didn’t know.
Hanley was questioned by the defense on if he interviewed any other persons of interest, specifically Shahn Whitted, Ted Munley, Sean Farrel, and Scott Perterson. Hanley denied all.
The day ended with Paul’s Defense Attorney Robert Sanger making a request about a new discovery involving Detective Clint Cole messaging a witness on Facebook and the messages being deleted after 30 days automatically. Sanger requested that the phone be seized and, if the messages are unretrievable, then the substance of the messages be disclosed.
Upcoming witnesses for this week include Detective Stewart, District Attorney Investigator J.T. Camp and Detective Cudworth. When discussing scheduling the ruling of multiple motions and witness testimonies, Puevrelle said that he should have it wrapped up by September 3.