Suspect in Kristin Smart murder appears in pre-preliminary hearing

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SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. (CBS News) – At the latest court hearing for Kristin Smart murder suspect Paul Flores, lawyers discussed subpoenaed witnesses and documents.

During a pre-preliminary hearing Monday morning in San Luis Obispo County Superior Court, much of the focus centered around two witnesses that have been ordered to appear in court during the upcoming preliminary hearing.

A female witness, who was not present during the virtual hearing, has been ordered on call by. All parties agreed she will appear in court during the preliminary at an unknown time.

A second male witness was in court on Monday. He previously indicated he was opposed to signing on-call agreement to appear during the preliminary hearing.

After discussion with Judge Craig van Rooyen and Paul Flores’ defense attorney Robert Sanger, it was agreed the witness would receive a 36-hour notice before his ordered appearance.

Lastly, van Rooyen discussed several subpoenaed documents in the case, including one that is being objected by a third party.

Kristin Smart
(FILE – This undated photo released by the FBI shows Kristin Smart, the California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo student who disappeared in 1996. )

It was agreed the disputed document would be further discussed during Wednesday’s scheduled hearing.
On Wednesday, the case will move from a virtual format and shift into a courtroom for the first time. All parties will be required to be in-person at the hearing that is scheduled to begin at 1:30 p.m.

Van Rooyen also indicated the preliminary hearing could last as long as August 20, long than originally planned.

It’s scheduled to begin on July 20, but previously was scheduled to last as long as 12 days. Due to scheduled time for van Rooyen, the court will be off during the week of July 26.

Paul Flores, 44, has been charged in the 1996 murder of Cal Poly student Kristin Smart, while his father Ruben Flores, 80, has been charged as an accessory to the crime.

Paul Flores has been in custody at San Luis Obispo County Jail after his request for bail was denied by van Rooyen following his arrest.

Ruben Flores has been out on bail after his reduced his bail from $250,000 to $50,000 on April 22.

Both men have pleaded not guilty to the charges.

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