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Kristin Smart’s Mother Testifies Against Man, Dad Accused Of Her Murder
Kristin Smart's mother, Denise Smart, broke down crying on the stand and said it felt like her daughter's life had "no value to anyone but her family" when initially talking to investigators.
"I felt like the life of [my] daughter was of no value to anyone but her family," her mother Denise Smart testified through tears on Thursday, while discussing her interactions with investigators over the past 25 years, KEYT reports.
Monterey County Superior Court spokesperson Norma Ramirez-Zapata confirmed to Oxygen.com that the trial against Paul Flores, 45, and his father Ruben Flores, 81, had re-started on Thursday. Opening statements began on Monday but, by Tuesday morning, Ramirez-Zapata stated that the trial was pushed until Thursday for an “unexpected health concern.”
Paul Flores is accused of killing Kristin Smart, a 19-year-old California Polytechnic State University freshman, during an attempted rape in his dorm room on May 25, 1996, after he walked Smart home from an off-campus party. Ruben Flores is accused of helping his son dispose of Smart’s remains, which have never been found. Prosecutors believe Ruben Flores helped bury Smart in the backyard of his Arroyo Grande home before later digging her remains up to move them to another location.
During Monday's opening statements, San Luis Obispo County Deputy District Attorney Chris Peuvrelle had stated that Smart’s parents, Stan and Denise Smart, and her siblings, Matt and Lindsey Smart, would testify about the weekend she disappeared, according to the San Luis Obispo Tribune. The family’s spokesperson John Segale confirmed to Oxygen.com via email on Thursday that "members of the family have been subpoenaed by the defense" as well.
D.A. Peuvrelle told the jury more about Ruben Flores during his opening statement.
"And while the entire community banded together to search for Kristin desperately, Paul and Ruben Flores did not join in," he told the jury, according to Fox News. "You will hear Ruben Flores would tear down missing posters of Kristin — tore down her smiling, beautiful face — called her a ‘dirty slut,’ all while her corpse was decomposing underneath his deck."
Meanwhile, Harold Mesick, Ruben Flores' attorney, maintained that is client is "absolutely innocent" and that he is charged based on "no evidence."
"This is a good man. This is a good father, this is a good husband," he said. "My client is absolutely innocent. Don't be fooled, be skeptical. At the end of the day, Kristin Smart will be missing and we don't know where she is."
After opening statements for Ruben Flores' jury wrapped up on Thursday — those in his son's case had been finished on Monday — Denise Smart took to the stand.
Denise told the D.A. that her daughter was not happy at the school, noting that it "wasn't a fit for her," KEYT reports.
The trial is expected to last through October.
Smart was declared legally dead in 2002. Both Flores men were arrested in April 2021.
Paul Flores 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.