American Justice Notebook

"Our liberty depends on the freedom of the press, and that cannot be limited without being lost." — Thomas Jefferson

Convicted Killer Paul Flores Gets 25 Years to Life for the 1996 Murder of College Student Kristin Smart

California Superior Court Judge Jennifer O’Keefe sentenced Paul Flores, the man convicted of killing Kristin Smart, to 25 years to life in prison, according to ABC News.

The Monterey County judge rejected defense motions to acquit Flores and order a new trial.

Judge O’Keefe also declared that Flores was “a cancer to society,” and ordered him to register as a sex offender.

Smart, 19, had vanished from California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo, California, on Memorial Day weekend in 1996, ABC News stated.

Her remains have never been found, but she was declared legally dead in 2002. Prosecutors argued that Flores, now 46, had killed Smart during an attempted rape in his dorm room on May 25, 1996.

He had been the last person seen with Smart as he was walking her home from an off-campus party.

In 2021, Flores and his father were arrested and accused of helping to hide Smart’s body.

Since the case had gained notoriety, the trial was held in Salinas, Monterey County, about 110 miles (177 kilometers) north of San Luis Obispo.