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The trial for the father and son accused in the Kristin Smart case has now been delayed for at least two days.
Opening statements began on Monday in the trial against Paul Flores, 45, and his 81-year-old father Ruben Flores. Paul is accused of killing the 19-year-old California Polytechnic State University freshman during an attempted rape in his dorm room on May 25, 1996, after walking Smart home from an off-campus party. Ruben is accused of helping his son dispose of Smart’s remains, which have never been found. Prosecutors believe he helped bury Smart in the backyard of his Arroyo Grande home before later digging her remains up to move them to another location.
By Tuesday morning, Monterey County Superior Court spokesperson Norma Ramirez-Zapata stated that the trial was pushed until Thursday for an “unexpected health concern.”
Ramierez-Zapata has not immediately responded to Oxygen.com’s request for comment.
Chris Ruhl, Monterey County Superior Court executive officer, stated that “the Flores trial has been unexpectedly continued to Thursday,” the Sacramento Bee reports.
During opening statements on Monday, San Luis Obispo County Deputy District Attorney Chris Peuvrelle gave insight into some of the evidence he plans to present during the trial, which is expected to run into October. He showed footage of Paul being questioned about Smart just days after she vanished, characterizing his body language as hanging "his head in shame” when asked about the her.
Jurors also listened to a 2020 phone conversation between Paul and his mother Susan Flores. She tells him to listen to the podcast “Your Own Backyard,” which tracked the case and uncovered new information that authorities have credited with leading to Paul's arrest, because he is the only one who can poke holes in the case.
Both Flores men were arrested in April 2021. Paul has always been the key suspect in the disappearance of Smart, as he was the last person seen with her alive the night she disappeared.
Prosecutors have previously alleged in court documents that “dozens of women have recounted Paul Flores’ sexual assaults and predatory behavior that document his 25 years as a serial rapist.” Last year, Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office released reports that showed investigators eyed him in 2012 when his DNA profile allegedly matched a sample collected from a Southern California woman who was sexually assaulted in 2007.
Smart was declared legally dead in 2002.
It's not clear when on Thursday the trial will resume.
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