SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. (TCD) -- Paul Flores has been convicted of killing college student Kristin Smart more than 25 years after she went missing.
The San Luis Obispo County District Attorney's Office announced a jury found Flores guilty of first-degree murder after a four-day deliberation and trial that lasted three months. Paul’s father, Ruben Flores, was found not guilty of accessory to murder after the fact. He was accused of helping Paul hide Smart’s body.
Smart was last seen May 25, 1996, on the campus of California Polytechnic State University, and prosecutors argued Paul Flores killed Smart during an attempted rape. She was 19 years old.
Her body has never been found. The District Attorney's Office said there was a "clandestine grave" under Ruben Flores' home that is "believed to have previously held Kristin's body."
Flores faces 25 years to life in prison. He will be sentenced Dec. 9.
San Luis Obispo County District Attorney Dan Dow said, "The impact that Kristin’s disappearance and its investigation have had on the Smart family and our community, spanning a quarter century, is profound. We thank them for the tremendous trust and patience they have placed in the investigation and prosecution of this terrible crime."
He continued, "This verdict provides some sense of justice for Kristin, the Smarts, and our community. Today, justice delayed is not justice denied."
True Crime Daily: The Sidebar Podcast has extensively covered the Kristin Smart trial, which you can revisit by watching the episodes below.