Hearings underway in Salinas in the Kristin Smart murder case


Pretrial hearings began Monday morning for accused murderer Paul Flores and his alleged accomplice Ruben Flores. Flores is charged with murdering Kristin Smart in San Luis Obispo during an attempted rape in 1996, and his father is accused of helping dispose of her body.

The trial was moved to Salinas after SLO Superior Court Judge Craig van Rooyen determined the defendants would likely not receive a fair trial in SLO County.

Hearings to discuss pretrial motions are scheduled Monday through Friday. Next, jury selection is slated to begin.

Each defendant will have his own jury, which will listen to most of the trial simultaneously. The two juries will rotate between the jury box and the gallery in a trial estimated to last between three and five months.

Opening statements are expected during the week of July 6.

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