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Paul and Ruben Flores plead not guilty in Kristin Smart case

Paul and Ruben Flores were arraigned April 19 in San Luis Obispo County Superior Court in connection with the suspected killing of Cal Poly student Kristin Smart nearly 25 years ago.

Paul Flores pleaded not guilty to one count of first degree muder and Ruben Flores pleaded not guilty to one count of accessory to murder.

Judge Craig van Rooyen ruled that Paul Flores will remain in San Luis Obispo County jail without bail based on the determination that he could be a flight risk and has not remained crime free since the alleged murder in 1996.

Judge van Rooyen said he intends to release Ruben Flores on reasonable bail because he has no criminal history and has illnesses that require treatment.

The judge said the conditions of Ruben Flores’ release could include restricting him to San Luis Obispo County and monitoring him with an electronic ankle bracelet.

Judge van Rooyen also said that Ruben Flores faces a maximum three-year sentence, which could be served before the trial begins.

Ruben Flores’ current bail is set at $250,000. The judge plans to reduce the bail, and will determine the amount on Wednesday, April 21 at 1:30p.m. over Zoom.

“Pre preliminary” hearing dates were set for May 17 and June 21. A preliminary hearing, which will include testimonies and evidence, is scheduled for July 6.

Lauren Walike joined KCBX as its news manager in February 2021. In addition to her KCBX work, Lauren also serves as news director for KCPR-FM, Cal Poly’s student-run radio station, and digital director of Mustang Media Group, Cal Poly’s student-run news organization. She will graduate from Cal Poly’s Honors Program in June 2021 with a Bachelor of Science in journalism with minors in Integrated Marketing Communications and Media Arts, Society and Technology.
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