SAN LUIS OBISPO — Today, Monday, Apr. 19, in a San Luis Obispo Superior Courtroom, continued the arraignment hearing from Friday, Apr. 16 of Paul and Ruben Flores. The Honorable Judge Craig Van Rooyen is residing.
Both defendants appeared by video from the San Luis Obispo County Jail, and it was live-streamed by Zoom due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Robert Sanger and Sarah Sanger appeared as legal counsel on behalf of Paul Flores. Harold Mesick appeared as legal counsel for Ruben Flores.
Deputy District Attorney Christopher Peuvrelle appeared as the lead prosecutor of the case.
The hearing started with Robert Sanger entering a plea for Paul Flores (44) of not guilty for the murder of Kristin Smart.
Paul’s father, Ruben Flores (80), attorney Harold Mesick also entered a plea of not guilty for the accessory after the fact to the murder of Kristin Smart.
Following the plea, Judge Baltodano moved to hearing arguments of bail.
Paul Flores’s attorney, Robert Sanger, argued for bail to be set for his client. Paul Flores was previously set for zero bail.
The attorney mentioned a reference to the White and Humphrey case to discuss bail.
Robert Sanger argued that there is no evidence to support that his client is a danger to the public, nor is he a threat to flee if released. Sanger mentioned that Paul Flores is a homeowner and has remained in California even though he has been “under suspension” or even “assault” of some sort from the media, not necessarily the news media but “blogs” that have been accused him over the last 20 years.
After hearing arguments from the prosecution and the defense, Judge Baltodano ruled to continue no bail due to the possible life sentence in the case, which he stated that Paul Flores has not remained crime-free since the alleged offense to date.
Christopher Peuvrelle, representing the court, pleaded substantial evidence was found during the searches of Flores’s homes in March and in the early 2000s.
Harold Mesick then argued for the release of Ruben Flores due to his failing health and that he has not been arrested prior.
It was determined by the Judge that a reasonable bail will be set for Ruben Flores due to the possible time served during the trial. After a review of the financials, they will meet back on Wednesday to determine the bail amount.
A preliminary hearing was discussed to be set for Jul. 6.
Peuvrelle stated that the amount of discovery is enormous and will be sent over to the defendants expeditiously, but with the amount that the prosecution has, it would take up to three months to read through, so he wanted to be cautious with setting the date.
Both defendants waived their right to a speedy preliminary hearing.
After some discussion, it was agreed to a pre-preliminary hearing in a month, on May 17 at 1:30 p.m.
A preliminary hearing was discussed to be set for Jul. 6 at 8:30 a.m., with a further pre-preliminary hearing on Jun. 21 at 1:30 a.m.
An audio recording was forbidden within the press viewing room.
However, the arraignment could be watched live on the San Luis Obispo Superior Courts website slo.courts.ca.gov/gi/live.htm.
Spokesperson for the Smart family, John Segale stated “the Smart family does not have any comment or statement relative to today’s hearing.”
Full report to follow.
Last weeks hearing, No Plea Entered, Arraignment Continued to Monday, Apr. 19 in Smart Case, District Attorney Reviews Murder Charges in Kristin Smart Case, Justice Begins for Kristin Smart After Almost 25 Years
Correction: Honorable Judge Craig Van Rooyen presiding