The judge who chaired the preliminary hearing for Paul and Ruben Flores ruled Wednesday morning that there was enough evidence to bring the case to court.
The two men are charged in connection with the 1996 disappearance of Cal Poly student Kristin Smart.
Smart was last seen walking back to the dorms with Paul Flores after attending an off-campus party.
While her remains were never found, Kristin was legally pronounced dead in 2002.
Paul and Ruben Flores were arrested at their homes last April, almost 25 years after Kristin’s disappearance.
Paul is charged with her murder. After the crime, his father Ruben is charged as an accomplice and accused of hiding Kristin’s body.
Paul Flores has been in the San Luis Obispo County Jail without bail since his arrest. Ruben is currently on bail.
The judge’s verdict followed a month and a half preliminary hearing that began on Monday, August 2 and included testimony from more than two dozen witnesses, including current and former detectives, former friends and acquaintances of Paul and Kristin, mortuary craftsmen and soil experts.
Several people recalled Paul leading Kristin, who was visibly drunk, back to the dormitories after a party on Crandall Way early in the morning of May 25, 1996, about Paul’s room. Forensic experts said they found human blood in the dirt below the deck of Ruben Flores’ home in Arroyo Grande, but they couldn’t find any DNA.
During Monday’s closing arguments, defense attorneys said prosecutors had not produced any real evidence, arguing that there was no trial against Paul or Ruben Flores.
Following the judge’s verdict on Wednesday, San Luis Obispo District Attorney Dan Dow said on Twitter, “We continue to support Kristin Smart’s family as we work towards justice.”
The preliminary hearing in the Paul and Ruben Flores cases has been completed. A judge has determined that enough evidence has been presented for the two to be tried.
“We continue to support Kristin Smart’s family in our advocacy efforts,” said District Attorney Dan Dow. @dandow
– SLO County Dist Atty (@SLOCounty_DA) 09/22/2021
Paul and Ruben Flores are due to be charged on October 20th.