SAN PEDRO (CNS) - A San Pedro man accused of killing his former Cal Poly San Luis Obispo classmate Kristin Smart, who was last seen walking back to the college dormitories from an off-campus party 25 years ago, was ordered today to stand trial for murder.
Paul Ruben Flores -- who had long been described as a “prime suspect'' by authorities -- was arrested in April at his home in San Pedro and charged a day later with killing the 19-year-old freshman, whose body has not been found.
On Wednesday, San Luis Obispo Superior Court Judge Craig van Rooyen found sufficient evidence to hold Flores, 44, over for trial on a murder charge. Flores' father, 80-year-old Ruben Flores, was ordered to stand trial on a charge of being an accomplice to the killing, for allegedly helping his son dispose of Smart's body.
The criminal complaint alleges that Flores killed Smart on May 25, 1996, while he was “engaged in the commission of, or attempting to commit, the crime of rape.''
Smart was last seen walking back to her dorm with Flores -- both were then 19-year-old college freshmen -- at about 2 a.m. that day, authorities said. She was reported missing three days later.
Prosecutors contend he killed the intoxicated Smart while trying to sexually assault her.
Copyright 2021, City News Service, Inc.