By KAREN VELIE
Lawyers representing Paul Flores on a charge he murdered Kristin Smart during an attempted rape in 1996 filed a motion on Dec. 17 to dismiss the case.
After more than a month of testimony, San Luis Obispo County Judge Craig van Rooyen found in September that based on “the totality of the evidence,” there was enough proof of probable cause that an ordinary person could determine guilt. Flores’ trial is scheduled to begin on April 25.
In his motion, Flores’ defense attorney Robert Sanger argues prosecutors provided insufficient evidence to support Judge van Rooyen’s probable cause finding.
Sanger accuses the prosecution of relying on “speculation and innuendo” in making their case, in the 83-page motion that includes multiple misspellings of the victim’s name and grammatical errors.
“This is a case in which there has been no new credible evidence regarding the disappearance of Kristian Smart [sic] or any involvement on the part of Paul Flores in that disappearance for over 20 years,” Sanger writes in the motion. “Nevertheless, in a series of orchestrated televised moves, the Sheriff and the District Attorney proceeded to arrest and the [sic] prosecute Paul Flores without credible evidence.”
Sanger claims witnesses were only able to remember facts or contacted law enforcement after prodding by podcaster Chris Lambert.
“Jennifer Hudson, in crafting her bizarre story, clearly incorporated inconsistent facts that had been given to her by the obsessed podcaster Chris Lambert,” Sanger wrote in his motion.
Sanger demeans Jennifer Hudson’s reputation, calling the witness who said she heard Paul Flores admit to the crime, a “random person” whose testimony was “preposterous,” specifically Hudson’s claims that Paul Flores was a skater and outgoing.
Sanger also criticized the blood evidence and the alerts from dogs as having no evidentiary value or for lacking foundation.
In the filing, Sanger suggests there are others who could have killed Smart while he attacks her reputation, life and personal history.
“What is left in the case is all that was known in 1996,” Sanger wrote. “Kristin Smart, known as Roxy, was pretty much out of control and drunk at a frat party.”
Charged with accessory after the fact, Paul Flores’ father Ruben Flores is suspected of helping his son dispose of Smart’s body, which prosecutors believe was buried under a deck at the father’s Arroyo Grandee home. Ruben Flores’ attorney Harold Mesick filed a motion to have Ruben Flores joined in Sanger’s motion to dismiss.
If Sanger and Mesick are successful in their Penal Code Section 995 motions to dismiss, the judge will either drop some of the charges or dismiss the cases.
If the prosecution prevails, the cases will move forward and either be resolved through a plea bargain or a trial — which is currently scheduled to begin on April 25.