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Man who killed Kristin Smart attacked in prison and left in critical condition

Man who killed Kristin Smart attacked in prison and left in critical condition

Paul Flores – the man who killed Kristin Smart some 27 years ago - has been left injured and in a critical condition.

The man who killed Kristin Smart has been injured and left in a critical condition, his lawyer confirmed on Wednesday.

Paul Flores, who was found guilty of the murder of Smart in October 2022, was taken from Pleasant Valley State Prison in Coalinga to an outside hospital on Wednesday, according to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.

The department did not actually confirm whether Flores was attacked, with his spokesperson confirming via the Associated Press that circumstances surrounding his injury are currently under investigation and that details wouldn't be released immediately.

His attorney, Harold Mesick, said: "I just pray for his recovery."

Mesick added that Flores, now 46, had only been at the Pleasant Valley State Prison for a week after leaving North Kern State Prison – a prison where criminals are received and processed before being assigned to another facility.

Paul Flores was convicted of murder last year.
Twitter/SLO County Sheriff

The story of how Flores was eventually sent down is an extremely long one, after Smart went missing in San Luis Obispo, California, in 1996.

Smart was killed by Flores – who was a classmate of hers at the time – back in May of that year, with the 19-year-old last seen at the University of California Polytechnic State University.

After going missing, The University Police Department originally suspected that Smart had gone on an unexpected vacation – something that was certainly common among students over the summer holiday.

However, Smart was never to be seen again, with her body still not found to this very day. She was declared dead in 2002.

Up until 2007, various searches were conducted and evidence examined, but no useful leads were unfortunately found

But the case opened up again in 2016 after a new lead in the case was found, eventually leading to prosecutors believing Kristin's body had been buried beneath the deck of Ruben Flores' home - though the father of the killer was later cleared of any wrongdoing.

Kristin Smart was last seen in May 1996. Credit:Twitter/SLO County Sheriff
Kristin Smart was last seen in May 1996. Credit:Twitter/SLO County Sheriff

But that led them to Paul Flores – though undisclosed evidence had put him in the frame for her killing as early as 2016.

The trial – coming 26 years after Smart’s disappearance – also saw Flores’ 81-year-old father on trial for allegedly helping to move the body and helping to obscure the crime scene, though he was found not guilty.

However, the jurors found Flores guilty in an unanimous decision. He was sentenced to to 25 years-life in prison earlier this year.

After the verdict, Smart's father Stan Smart said: “This has been an agonisingly long journey with more downs than ups,

“Without Kristin, there is no joy or happiness in this verdict.”

Featured Image Credit: Police handout

Topics: Crime, US News