The FBI used a jailhouse informant to investigate Paul Flores, who was later convicted of killing his wife and three children.
On Wednesday, the hearing will resume with a request to exclude the SLO County District Attorney’s Office from the case.
SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. — After being postponed twice, the preliminary hearing for Paul and Ruben Flores resumed on 20th of August.
Kristin Smart, a Cal Poly student, was kidnapped and murdered in 1996, and her father and son have been charged with her murder.
Friday, Aug. 20
We’re going to get through this together, Atascadero
Deputy District Attorney Chris Peuvrelle of San Luis Obispo County started the hearing by arguing that additional alleged sexual assaults by Paul are pertinent to the Kristin Smart case.
According to the People’s Charges, Paul killed Kristin while raping or trying to rape her. Before and after Kristin’s abduction, Peuvrelle recounted numerous incidents and testimonies in which Paul reportedly drugged and assaulted women.
When detectives investigated Paul’s house in San Pedro, Peuvrelle sought to show the court a rape fantasy porn film purportedly in his possession. He claims the video depicts Paul’s desire to rape and his motivation (MO).
Robert Sanger, Paul’s defense attorney, claimed that there is no proof of a crime in the Smart case. He said that they have just heard propensity character evidence, and that the MO described by Peuvrelle is lurid and excessive.
At the conclusion of the preliminary hearing, Judge Craig van Rooyen reminded the court that it will be determined if there is reasonable cause that Paul committed murder rather than rape.
The People’s request to add evidence and witnesses from Paul’s sexual assault and rape was rejected once again by Judge van Rooyen.
In other words, Paul’s home movies, fantasy porn videos, and claimed sexual assault victims will not be admissible in the Kristin Smart case.
Following the lunch break, former San Luis Obispo County chief district attorney investigator William Hanley took the stand as the day’s first witness.
Hanley stated that he was assigned to investigate Kristin Smart’s missing person case in May 1996, and that on May 31, 1996, he questioned Paul Flores.
Paul was the last person seen with Kristin, so he and his partner questioned him.
Paul allegedly denied knowing Kristin Smart in the interview and said she introduced herself as “Roxy” at a house party on Crandall Way on May 24, 1996.
Because the station was too noisy, Hanley conducted the interview in his car rather than inside the station.
Paul told them he didn’t find Roxy attractive and “didn’t like those kinds of females,” according to Hanley.
Paul told Hanley about the events of that night, claiming he hugged Kristin because she was chilly.
Hanley inquired about the darkening (bruise) beneath Paul’s right eye during the same interview. On Memorial Day, Paul claimed he was elbowed in the eye during a basketball game.
When asked what happened to Kristin that night, Paul said that he believes she got into a vehicle with someone and died.
On June 19, 1996, Hanley met with Paul again to follow up on several discrepancies in Paul’s claims and perform a polygraph, which Paul had already consented to.
The interview was taped and done at the Arroyo Grande Police Department, but Sanger requested that the video be excluded due to Miranda rights concerns.
Paul was questioned like a suspect, according to Sanger, and he was not allowed to leave throughout the two-hour interrogation.
The court replied by stating that every interaction between a witness and a suspect may go either way, and he permitted the first 48 minutes of the video to be admitted into evidence.
Sanger sought proof of phone conversations between San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Detective Clint Cole and different witnesses at the conclusion of Friday’s hearing.
Peuvrelle expressed confidence that the preliminary hearing will be completed by September 3.
On Monday, Aug. 23, the Flores hearing entered its fourth week.
Henry Stewart, a retired Deputy Sheriff from San Luis Obispo County, took the stand on Monday morning.
Stewart revealed information on a jail informant who was utilized to investigate Paul Flores’ suspected involvement in Kristin Smart’s disappearance in May 1996.
After Paul was arrested for a probation violation and placed into the Santa Barbara County Jail in 2002, an informant was utilized.
According to Stewart, a “agent” was brought inside the prison in the hopes of befriending Paul, but he maintained the same narrative.
The operation was carried out by the FBI, which got engaged in the investigation early on.
Stewart stated that the informant kept in touch with Flores after he was released from prison and subsequently invited him on a fishing excursion to Catalina Island, which ended up being a failed effort to get a taped confession.
He also testified regarding an interview he had with Jana Schrock, Kristin’s roommate Crystal’s acquaintance, in July of 1996.
Schrock is said to have spent the night of May 24-25 in Crystal and Kristin’s room when Kristin vanished.
Schrock told Stewart she was alone in the room until an acquaintance called “Ted” arrived and remained with her until around 9 a.m. or 10 a.m.
They went to Paul Flores’ old dorm room on June 26, 1996, according to Stewart.
According to Stewart, who testified that he discovered a strand of brown hair beneath the edge of a mattress in the room, the room was vacant with just beds inside.
It was booked into evidence the same day, he claims. It was never disclosed in court if the hair was ever traced back to its rightful owner.
Steward remembered the FBI getting involved in the investigation, claiming that some material was transferred to a facility in Quantico, Virginia, for examination but was never tested, and that they used experimental ground-penetrating radar on Susan Flores, Paul Flores’ mother, near Arroyo Grande.
On July 15, 1996, a search warrant was issued to a house on White Court in Arroyo Grande, according to Stewart.
At the time, Paul Flores was allegedly questioned and his room was searched.
Stewart spoke about the other people he spoke to about Kristin’s disappearance the night she went missing. No one appeared to know where Kristin had gone, according to Stewart.
Robert Sanger, Paul’s defense counsel, claimed that Paul had been saying the same story for 25 years, claiming that on the night of Kristin’s disappearance, Paul went to his dorm and Kristin went to hers.
Stewart claims he attempted many interviews with Paul but was always told, “I have nothing to say.” “Speak with my attorney.”
JT Camp, a District Attorney Investigator, is scheduled to testify in court on Wednesday.
On Tuesday, attorneys are scheduled to continue working through discovery. The process through which the two parties gather and share information regarding the case’s evidence and witnesses is known as discovery.
A hearing to examine the defense’s request to disqualify the San Luis Obispo County District Attorney’s Office from prosecuting the case is set for Wednesday, Aug. 25.
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