Citing massive publicity surrounding case, judge moves Kristen Smart murder trial off Central Coast
Judge says case might be most publicized in San Luis Obispo County history, making it impossible for impartial trial for man accused of Smart's murder.
A judge is moving the murder trial of the man accused of the 1996 murder of a Central Coast college student out of San Luis Obispo County.
The judge decided the intense publicity surrounding the Kristen Smart case would make it impossible for Paul Flores to get an impartial trial in the county.
Smart was last seen alive in May of 1996, when Flores was walking her back to the Cal Poly campus from a party. Prosecutors say he killed her in his dorm room. Her remains have never been recovered.
Flores was considered a person of interest by investigators for years, but was arrested last year.
The change of venue ruling also applies to Ruben Flores, who’s charged as an accessory. Prosecutors assert that after the killing, he helped hide Smart's body.
Paul and Ruben Flores have both entered not guilty pleas to the charges they are facing.