Paul and Ruben Flores Will Stand Trial in Kristin Smart Slaying

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Paul and Ruben Flores will go to trial in the disappearance and alleged murder of college student Kristin Smart that took place in 1996.

According to SFGate after a 22 year preliminary hearing, Superior Court Judge Craig van Rooyen determined the prosecution presented sufficient evidence to move the case to the criminal trial phase. The San Luis Obispo County District Attorney's Office argued that Paul Flores, 44, killed Smart after walking her home from a party on Memorial Day weekend in 1996. His father Ruben, is accused of helping him cover up the crime and bury Smart's body under the family's Arroyo Grande home. The father and son duo have plead not guilty.

The hearing focused largely on the testimony of experts who took in the excavation of the Arroyo Grande home. An area underneath the home's back deck was dug up, and a number of experts testified lab results showed traces of human blood in the dirt. Unfortunately no DNA was able to be extracted because of the degraded status of the sample.

Witnesses testified that Paul Flores had a reputation for unsettling behavior around women, allegedly earning the nickname "Chester the Molester." at Cal Poly. It is alleged that Flores attempted to rape Smart before murdering her according to law enforcement.

There is enough "strong suspicion" around Paul and Ruben Flores to warrant a criminal trial, however a date has not been set yet.

"We continue to support the family of Kristin Smart as we work hard toward justice," said District Attorney Dan Dow.

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