Pre-preliminary hearing for the murder of Kristin Smart scheduled for May 17

SAN LUIS OBISPO — On Wednesday, Apr. 21, in a San Luis Obispo Superior Courtroom, a bail hearing was held for Ruben Flores. The Honorable Judge Craig Van Rooyen is residing. 

Once again, Ruben Flores appeared by video from the San Luis Obispo County Jail wearing a county orange jumpsuit and blue surgical mask.

Harold Mesick, Ruben Flores’s attorney, and the Peoples attorney Deputy District Attorney Christopher Peuvrelle, also appeared by video in the live virtual hearing.

Getting through this together, Paso Robles

On Monday, Apr. 19, Ruben Flores (80), attorney Harold Mesick entered a plea of not guilty for the accessory after the fact to the murder of Kristin Smart. 

His son, Paul Flores (44), attorney Robert Sanger and Sarah Sanger also entered a plea of not guilty for the murder of Kristin Smart. 

Ruben Flores is charged with accessory after the fact to murder; it is alleged that he helped to conceal Smart’s body after the murder was committed. 

During the arraignment hearing on Apr. 19, Mesick argued for the release of Ruben Flores due to his failing health and that he has not been arrested prior.

Mesick said Ruben would be a “medical nightmare” for the jail and stated he is a “fine upstanding citizen in his community” and mentions he previously served as a reserve officer for the Redondo Beach Police Department. 

The Judge determined that a reasonable bail will be set for Ruben Flores due to the possible time served during the trial. 

Ruben Flores’s bail was originally set at $250,000, which Mesick argued his defendant could afford. 

Paul Flores is set at zero bail.

During today’s hearing, Mesick again argued that Ruben is already struggling financially even after working for over 57 years. He said Ruben is “bleeding” every month from paying penalties for taking money out of his retirement fund. 

Mesick stated that if Ruben had to pay bail, it would prevent him from hiring two experts believe to be essential in defending his case. These experts would be a soil expert and biologist. 

After reviewing Ruben’s assets, Judge Van Rooyen stated he could find no reason to keep Ruben detained and lowered his bail to $50,000.

Peuvrelle argued Ruben could afford “ample bail” and stated he provided the Judge with documents that would prove it. 

Both sides of the court agreed to the use of an ankle monitor and electronic monitoring. 

Peuvrelle confirmed the San Luis Obispo County Probation Department agreed to provide the electronic monitoring. 

Ruben Flores will also be prohibited from leaving the county. 

Peuvrelle requested that a California Penal Code (PC) 1275 signed by Judge Guerrero stay in place.

A PC 1275 “states that if there is probable cause to suspect that the money or property used to post bail may come from criminal activity, bail will not be accepted.”

The Judge arranged for Ruben to surrender his passport to the court within 24 hours of being released. 

Mesick said Ruben would have to look for his passport, even though it is expired. 

A pre-preliminary hearing is scheduled for May 17 at 1:30 p.m.

Late Wednesday night at roughly 10 p.m. Susan Flores, Pual’s mother and Ruben’s wife, posted bail for Ruben. 

Ruben Flores was released from jail after posting bail at around 11 p.m. Flores has been in the county jail since Apr. 13.