The father and son charged in the 1996 death and disappearance of Cal Poly freshman Kristin Smart pleaded not guilty for a second time during a hearing last week in which a judge also set a trial start date for April. 

Paul Flores, 44, of San Pedro is charged with the first-degree murder of Smart. His father, 80-year-old Ruben Flores of Arroyo Grande is charged with accessory after the fact and is accused of burying Smart’s body under the backyard deck of his residence in the 700 block of White Court.

Both men appeared before San Luis Obispo County Superior Court Judge Craig Van Rooyen, who on Sept. 22 determined there was sufficient probable cause to uphold the charges after a lengthy preliminary hearing that began on Aug. 2.

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Ruben Flores talks to his attorney Harold Mesick after a ruling Sept. 22, 2021. Ruben Flores is accused of helping his son, Paul Flores, cover up the alleged murder of Cal Poly student Kristin Smart.

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