By KAREN VELIE
A San Luis Obispo County judge on Friday rejected an attempt by lawyers representing Paul Flores on a charge he murdered Kristin Smart during an attempted rape 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.
Paul Flores’ defense attorney Robert Sanger asked the court to find prosecutors provided insufficient evidence to support Judge van Rooyen’s probable cause finding. Judge Jacquelyn Duffy disagreed, ruling that enough evidence existed to move the case on to trial.
Charged with accessory after the fact, Paul Flores’ father Ruben Flores is suspected of helping his son dispose of Smart’s body. Ruben Flores’ attorney Harold Mesick joined in Sanger’s motion to dismiss, which the judge also rejected.
As the result of Judge Duffy’s ruling, the cases will move forward and can either be resolved through a plea bargain or a trial — which is currently scheduled to begin on April 25.