By JOSH FRIEDMAN
Arroyo Grande resident Ruben Flores posted bail and was released from San Luis Obispo County Jail late Wednesday night, hours after a judge lowered his bail amount from $250,000 to $50,000.
Ruben Flores is the father of Paul Flores, who is charged with the murder of Kristin Smart. Paul Flores allegedly killed Smart during a rape or attempted rape at Cal Poly in 1996.
The 80-year-old father is charged with accessory after the fact and is accused of helping his son hide Smart’s body. Prosecutors believe Smart was buried under Ruben Flores’ porch and then moved to an unknown location.
Superior Court Judge Craig van Rooyen lowered Ruben Flores’ bail Wednesday on the conditions that he wear an ankle bracelet, surrender his passport, stay in San Luis Obispo County and commit no crimes upon release from jail.
In a pre-bail reduction hearing document that was inadvertently leaked to media, Deputy District Attorney Christopher Peuvrelle asked the court to hold Ruben Flores in jail because his release would constitute a risk to public safety.
“The excavation below his deck at 710 White Court showed damning evidence that a body had been buried in that location and then recently moved,” Peuvrelle wrote. “It is reasonable to believe Ruben Flores currently knows the location of Kristin Smart’s remains.”
SLO County Sheriff’s detective Clint Cole also asked the court to deny bail because of “biological evidence that makes them believe the victim was buried under the defendant’s father’s deck at one time.”
On Monday, Ruben Flores’ attorney, Harold Mesick, argued his client’s 40 years of ties to the community, volunteer work and clean record demonstrate he is not a flight risk. Mesick also argued that soil discovered disturbed in Ruben Flores’ yard wasn’t conclusive evidence.
Paul Flores remains in SLO County Jail, where he is being held without bail.