Defense lawyers for accused killer Paul Flores and alleged accomplice Ruben Flores want to call an infamous convict to the stand in an attempt to show that investigators weren’t thorough in investigating the alleged murder of Kristin Smart. Scott Peterson knew Smart and was also a student at California Polytechnic State University, according to attorneys in a KEYT report.
Kristin Smart went missing from campus on May 25, 1996. Paul Flores, who was allegedly the last person to see her alive, spent decades suspected by authorities through his and his father’s arrests in April. As for Peterson, he became one of the most infamous killers of this century. He was found guilty in 2004 of murdering pregnant wife Laci Peterson and their unborn son Conner. An appellate court overturned Peterson’s death sentence, saying the trial court should not have dismissed jurors whose “written questionnaire responses express[ed] opposition to the death penalty, even though the jurors gave no indication that their views would prevent them from following the law.”
Prosecutors decided to let the new life sentence stand, citing a request from Laci’s family.
“While the family of Laci and Conner believe there is no doubt that defendant is guilty of these crimes and that his conduct warrants the death penalty and defendant is deserving of the punishment of death, the family has decided this process is simply too painful to endure once again,” prosecutors recently wrote.
Now the Flores’ attorneys want Peterson to speak on the stand. Defense examination in the ongoing preliminary hearing is trying to suggest that investigators failed to be thorough and consider alternate suspects. Basically, they are arguing authorities had blinders on when it came to Paul Flores.
Now-retired Caly Poly police detective Lawrence Kennedy defended the investigation on the stand, saying authorities did follow other leads including possible sightings of Kristin.
Smart’s whereabouts remain unknown.
Paul Flores is charged with murdering Kristin during a rape or rape attempt. Prosecutors have said Paul Flores sexually abused multiple women over the decades.
Ruben Flores is charged with being an accessory. Smart’s family recently sued him, claiming he hid Kristin’s body through the years.
[Mugshot of Peterson via Quentin State Prison; image of Smart and the mugshots of Paul and Ruben Flores via San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Office]
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