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Paul Flores sentenced to 25 years to life for 1996 murder of Kristin Smart


Paul Flores, convicted of killing his college classmate Kristin Sensible in a case that remained unsolved for many years, has been sentenced to 25 years to life in jail.

Flores, 45, was discovered responsible final 12 months of the first-degree homicide of fellow California Polytechnic State College scholar Sensible, who was 19 when she disappeared in 1996. Her physique was by no means discovered however prosecutors said there was enough evidence to prove Flores both raped or tried to rape the faculty freshman earlier than killing her.

“In the present day, our felony and sufferer justice system has lastly delivered justice for Kristin Sensible, for the Sensible household, and for our San Luis Obispo County group,” Dan Dow, the San Luis Obispo County district lawyer, mentioned in a written statement launched Friday night. “In the present day, justice delayed is just not justice denied.”

“After almost 27 years of unspeakable anguish, the Sensible household has lastly seen their daughter’s killer sentenced,” Christopher Peuvrelle, the deputy district lawyer who prosecuted the case, mentioned in the identical assertion. “Their power and willpower function an inspiration to us all.”

A jury found Flores guilty of Sensible’s homicide in October. His father Ruben Flores, who had been accused of serving to to cover the physique, was acquitted by a separate jury of fees of being an adjunct to homicide.

California jury convicts Paul Flores of 1996 murder of Kristin Smart

San Luis Obispo County Sheriff Ian Parkinson introduced the arrest of Flores and his father in 2021 — 1 / 4 of a century after Sensible was final seen alive — and credited a real crime podcast for producing new proof.

Chris Lambert, the freelance journalist who revisited the case in his podcast “Your Own Backyard,” introduced the case “out nationally to herald new info,” Parkinson mentioned on the time, with out providing additional particulars, according to the AP. “It did produce some info that I imagine was worthwhile.”

Sensible’s household delivered affect statements on Friday forward of the sentencing. In response to the San Luis Obispo Tribune newspaper, her father, Stan Sensible, mentioned: “This can be a dad or mum’s worst nightmare — the disappearance and demise of their little one … we shared her hopes, her desires, her aspirations as she grew to become an attractive younger grownup, and now she is going to by no means have the ability to have a full life.”

Paul Flores’s lawyer, Robert Sanger, didn’t instantly reply to an in a single day request for remark following the sentencing. He beforehand instructed The Washington Publish that his coverage is to not touch upon his instances.

Throughout the trial, the jury heard that Sensible was final seen strolling towards her dormitory with Flores after a celebration in Might 1996. He later gave differing accounts of how he had sustained a black eye to investigators trying into the disappearance, the AP reported.

Following an interview with a brand new witness in 2019, detectives obtained a court order to intercept and monitor Flores’s cellphone and texts. Additionally they carried out searches on the houses of Flores and his household the next 12 months.

Throughout an extra search in March 2021, archaeologists working for the police discovered a soil disturbance concerning the dimension of a casket, along with human blood, underneath the deck of the house of Flores’s father, according to the AP. The blood was too degraded to extract a DNA pattern, nonetheless. Prosecutors said they believed the “clandestine grave” had as soon as held Sensible’s stays.

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Throughout Friday’s sentencing listening to, Monterey County Superior Court docket Decide Jennifer O’Keefe instructed Flores he was “a most cancers to society” and ordered him to be registered as a intercourse offender for all times, according to the Associated Press.

“You should spend each day you have got left behind bars,” she mentioned, including that Flores had “lived free locally” for greater than 20 years and had a historical past of “predatory habits” in opposition to girls.

Sensible’s mom on Friday described her daughter’s disappearance as “gut-wrenching” and mentioned Flores’s refusal to disclose the situation of her daughter’s physique was “a merciless and visceral ache that nobody ought to ever need to bear,” the San Luis Obispo Tribune newspaper reported.

The authorities have pledged to proceed investigations to get well Sensible’s physique. After Flores’s conviction final 12 months, Sheriff Parkinson said in a statement that there may very well be “no true justice till Kristin is reunited together with her household. This investigation won’t be closed till we discover Kristin.”

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