More than 25 years after a college student went missing in California, a jury convicted the longtime suspect of her murder.
However, his dad was acquitted of accusations that he helped cover up the killing.
The jury convicted Paul Flores of murder on Oct. 18, according to KTLA. Flores' father, Ruben Flores, was found not of claims that he helped his son cover up the murder. Paul Flores now awaits sentencing and faces decades in prison.
Paul Flores, who has long been called a suspect in the case, was arrested on April 13, 2021, according to San Luis Obispo County Sheriff Ian Parkinson said. Paul Flores was the last person seen with Smart when she went missing in 1996. Paul Flores was charged with murder, according to jail records.
Smart and Paul Flores were both students at Cal Ploy-San Luis Obispo when Smart disappeared.
Investigators believed Paul Flores killed Smart after he tried to rape her in a dorm room.
Authorities claimed that Ruben Flores helped cover up the murder by burying the victim’s remains in his yard.
Parkinson said police interviewed a new witness after a 2018 podcast about the case. He said they also served several search warrants in the last few years to investigate the case.
During closing arguments, prosecutors left little doubt who they thought killed Smart.
“Paul Flores is guilty as sin,” prosecutor Christopher Peuvrelle told the jury, according to the San Luis Obispo Tribune. “Justice delayed does not have to be justice denied. You now know the truth of what happened.”
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