Attorney for Kristin Smart’s Convicted Murderer Challenges Conviction 2 Weeks Before Sentencing

Attorneys for the man convicted of killing Cal Poly student Kristin Smart in 1996 have filed a series of motions seeking to throw out the jury’s guilty verdict.

The jury found Paul Flores guilty of Smart’s murder last October. He is scheduled for sentencing on March 10 and faces 25 years to life in prison, as CrimeOnline previously reported. Prosecutors say Flores killed the 19-year-old, when both were Cal Poly students, and buried her at his father’s home but later moved the body, which has never been found.

Witnesses testified that Flores was the last person seen with Smart as they returned to campus after a part on May 25, 1996. Cadaver dog handlers testified that the dogs alerted in Flores’ dorm room during a search after Smart disappeared.

In one motion, defense attorney Robert Sanger asks for an outright acquittal and dismissal of charges “on the grounds that a rational trier of fact could not find the defendant guilty beyond a reasonable doubt based on the state of the evidence at the conclusion of the trial,” according to KSBY.

A second motion requests a new trial and claims “prosecutorial errors and the admission of junk science as evidence.” The motion also claims the verdict “was based on a violation of the defendant’s constitutional rights to due process and a fair trial.”

Sanger further claimed that the prosectuion manipulated the evidence and misled the jury.

“There is a reason that a case against Paul Flores was not brought for 25 years,” the motion reads. “There was no evidence of a murder or that Paul Flores committed it.”

San Luis Obispo County District Attorney Dan Dow declined to comment except to say that his”responses will only be in writing and submitted to the Court and defense counsel.”

Sanger as asked that his motions be heard on March 10, the day Flores is to be sentenced.

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[Featured image: Right: Paul Flores/San Luis Obispo County District Attorney’s Office and Kristin Smart/handout]