Where is Paul Flores Now?

March 15, 2024

Paul Flores has been hospitalized after being attacked in a state prison. He was transferred from Pleasant Valley State Prison to an outside hospital Wednesday. He was in serious condition but has since been upgraded to fair condition. The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation says the circumstances surrounding his injury are under investigation. His attorney Harold Mesick said he was notified by prison officials of the attack but didn’t have details.

Flores, 46, is serving a 25 years-to-life sentence for killing Cal Poly student Kristin Smart in 1996. A jury convicted him in October after a three-month trial. His father Ruben was acquitted of being an accessory. It was the first time the Smart family had a semblance of closure in the case.

The investigation into Kristin Smart’s disappearance was hampered in the early stages by the fact that her roommate didn’t report her missing until nearly a week had passed after she vanished. Once police began investigating, however, they were able to quickly focus their efforts on Flores. They searched his dorm building and cadaver dogs reportedly signaled that his mattress — particularly the corner where it touched the floor — had possibly been used to conceal a body.

In 2021, the family finally had some closure when a Monterey County jury convicted Paul Flores of murdering Smart in a rape or sexual assault that occurred at her off-campus party. The conviction was the culmination of a years-long cold case that was reignited by the popular true crime podcast Your Own Backyard, which brought a number of women forward to say they were roofied or otherwise assaulted by the 46-year-old man from San Pedro.


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