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Kristin Smart case: Judge denies defense request for release of Paul Flores

Judge Craig van Rooyen is presiding over the preliminary hearing of Paul and Ruben Flores.

After an extended chambers conference – where the defense and prosecution have a discussion in the judge’s chambers – this morning, the preliminary hearing for Paul and Ruben Flores in the Kristin Smart case is set to continue Friday, Aug. 20 with the judge hearing various motions and possible witness testimony.

The motions are currently under seal, but the defense mentioned several items to be discussed.

On Monday, Aug. 16 the court also adjourned early and both sides agreed to that break to work out discovery issues.

Those issues have apparently not been resolved, with defense attorney Robert Sanger, representing Paul Flores, still citing discovery issues.

Discovery is the process where the two sides collect and exchange information about evidence and witnesses in the case.

Sanger said he filed a motion on Aug. 16 to request for a bail reduction or release of Paul Flores.

Sanger said that there has been a change of circumstances and asked that the court consider releasing Paul Flores with conditions or on reasonable bail.

“Events beyond our control have come up,” Sanger said.

He also cited the prosecution sharing information at the “last minute.”

“[Paul Flores] should not have to continue to stay in custody,” Sanger said.

Judge Craig van Rooyen rejected Sanger’s motion and Paul Flores remains in custody. His bail is still set at no bail.

Van Rooyen said there has not been significant change in circumstances and the “brief continuance” will be relatively short.

Both Paul and Ruben Flores waived their right to a continuous preliminary hearing to resume Friday.

At the end of the session, Sanger said the defense had not received all the items from the prosecution, including possible text messages or WhatsApp messages.

The preliminary hearing is set to continue Friday morning.

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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