Inspecting California’s Kristin Good trial: The anatomy of a case with no physique
California court docket officers unsealed a trove of almost 500 pages of paperwork within the ongoing case trial for Paul and Ruben Flores – the daddy and son accused in reference to the disappearance and presumed demise of Kristin Good.
The paperwork provide a glimpse into how the prosecution hopes to persuade two juries that Paul Flores is responsible, and not using a affordable doubt, of her homicide, and his father, of appearing as an adjunct after the very fact. It’s a hefty process, with a heavy burden, no matter any extenuating circumstances. And on this case, one explicit element makes the job that a lot more durable: Over 26 years since Good disappeared, her stays have by no means been discovered.
Good was a 19-year-old freshman at California State Polytechnic College’s San Luis Obispo campus in 1996 when she was final seen, allegedly closely intoxicated, with the Paul Flores after an off-campus occasion on Crandall Means. She was walked again from the occasion by three individuals – two individuals, a person and a lady, after which Flores. The others slowly peeled off after Flores allegedly insisted a number of instances that he might get Good house safely.
She was by no means seen once more.
KRISTIN SMART TRIAL: MURDER SUSPECT PAUL FLORES HAD BLACK EYE, WAS ACTING ‘NERVOUS’ DAYS LATER, CLASSMATE SAYS
Now, almost every single day for weeks – albeit with some breaks in between – court docket employees, attorneys, the defendants, their households, reporters and dozens of jurors have packed right into a Salinas, California, courtroom to listen to the decades-old case play out. Each Paul Flores, 45, and Ruben Flores, 81, are standing trial concurrently on their respective fees, however with separate juries and protection groups to argue on their behalf.
Prosecutors have argued their perception that Flores killed Good in his dorm room throughout an tried rape. They are saying his father then helped his son bury Good’s physique underneath the deck behind his Arroyo Grande house – after which later dug up her stays when regulation enforcement returned a long time later.
They’re anticipated to rely not solely on witness interviews, however proof gathered from ground-penetrating know-how, K9-detection and soil analyses to additional attempt to persuade the juries.
In the meantime, the protection attorneys for Paul and Ruben, respectively, are anticipated to argue that Flores barely knew Good, and that the proof is “primarily based on hypothesis and never proof of info.”
They’ve tried to counsel Good ran away to Hawaii, or that there have been different suspects – together with convicted homicide Scott Peterson, who attended the college on the identical time. However the choose barred any such point out of different suspects throughout trial.
The protection did, nonetheless, obtain a victory when a choose granted a request for the situation of the case to be modified from San Luis Obispo County to Salinas, in Monterey County.
The proceedings are usually not televised or live-streamed, and solely a handful of reporters per day are allowed inside on a first-come, first-serve foundation.
In keeping with accounts from reporters, day-after-day individuals who knew Good, Paul Flores, or the circumstances of the case have taken the stand to testify about their expertise or involvement. The trial is anticipated to proceed for months.
Investigators spoke with Paul Flores no less than 4 instances within the days and weeks that adopted Good’s disappearance – on Could 28, 1996; Could 30, 1996; Could 31, 1996; and June 19, 1996. In every of those circumstances, in response to authorities, he was not arrested, was not in custody and was not handcuffed. Every time, he allegedly willingly spoke to investigators.
KRISTIN SMART CALIFORNIA TRIAL: PAUL FLORES JOKED THAT MISSING WOMAN WAS ‘AT MY MOM’S HOUSE,’ ROOMMATE SAYS
In keeping with the unsealed paperwork, a police division investigator spoke with Flores in his dorm room on Could 28, 1996. Flores was “nervous, his coronary heart was pounding in his chest to such a level that his shirt was transferring,” Kennedy reported.
“Paul Flores advised him that he walked Kristin Good up the hill after which they’d separated. He went again to his dorm. He gave her two hugs whereas in transit from the occasion,” prosecutors wrote in court docket papers. “Kennedy seen that Paul Flores had a black proper eye.”
‘Chester the Molester’ and ‘Roxy’
Simply two days later, Flores went to the Cal Poly Police Division workplace and spoke with a pair of investigators – a detective from San Luis Obispo Sheriff’s Division and an officer from the Cal Poly Police Division, paperwork state.
When requested to explain the occasions from the evening of Good’s disappearance, “going backwards,” Flores allegedly advised police, “She walked that approach, I walked that approach. That’s the final time I noticed her.” That they had been strolling with one other lady from the occasion, he advised the police, who finally parted methods with the pair, a transcript states.
“A pair instances like on the way in which, possibly in all probability twice you understand, I went like that, simply gave her kinda like a hug, ‘Trigger she was freezing,’” Flores allegedly stated. Requested how a lot he needed to drink, he stated, “an excessive amount of,” and he ended up throwing up.
He advised police he didn’t keep in mind what time he received sick or what time he received again. He rambled about how a lot alcohol he had consumed, earlier than investigators requested him towards concerning the occasion and Good, whom he stated he knew as “Roxy.”
“I don’t understand how we wound up strolling collectively,” he stated, in response to a transcript. When requested if he had any bodily contact along with her, he responded: “Nope. By no means gave her a kiss, nothin’ or …”
He then pivoted to speaking concerning the title “Roxy,” court docket papers present.
“It was the title that she was utilizing on the occasion was Roxy. Be – as a result of after – after you left I used to be considering you understand – Christine, Christine after which – and I used to be like – then I’m all – I’m all – I by no means even heard that title earlier than. Then – Then I noticed that the papers within the residence corridor yesterday speaking about Roxy,” he stated, in response to the transcript. “That’s the title she was going by yesterday or the Friday.”
Again to the evening of the occasion, Flores advised investigators the “solely factor” he remembered “was she was saying she was freezing.”
“Like I talked to her one time on the occasion and she or he stated ‘hello I’m Roxy … How do you want me’ or one thing like that, however she – she saved get – she saved walkin’ up like each single man on the occasion sayin’ that,” he allegedly advised investigators.
Requested how he would describe Good’s habits, he stated, “flirtatious I suppose.”
“Even when the lady wished me, I wouldn’t as a result of – since you don’t know what you’ll be able to ever get … ailments,” Flores allegedly stated.
However the dialog then pivots to Flores himself, and any nicknames for him.
Requested if individuals known as him something, Flores talked about, “Paulino” and later, “Paulie Brief.” However investigators had one other one in thoughts.
“The phrase that we heard was, ‘Chester the Molester,’” one of many investigators stated.
Flores advised investigators he had “by no means ever” heard that title.
KRISTIN SMART TRIAL: CALIFORNIA JURIES HEAR HOW ‘CREEPY GUY’ PAUL FLORES FREQUENTED SMART’S DORM
Flores went on to inform investigators he went to the toilet when he received house to bathe and will hear somebody in the bathroom stall – he stated this whereas responding to a query about whether or not he encountered anybody who might doubtlessly assist him type an alibi if wanted.
He stated it was “possibly” 5 a.m., “’Trigger I had some dangerous style in my mouth so I went and took a bathe.”
He didn’t reveal rather more by way of the timeframe surrounding the 5 a.m. bathe.
Flores later advised investigators in the course of the interview that he walked to the occasion by himself whereas he was on his strategy to his sister’s – he noticed the occasion and “wound up stopping by,” the transcript says. He stated he didn’t inform his sister he was coming, however he was planning on simply stopping over unannounced.
He stated he had three beers at his dorm and introduced one other with him on the way in which. He initially stated it was 10 p.m. when he left for his sister’s, however then stated, “possibly it was like” 9.
Through the interview, Flores additionally reveals he turned went to the police station on Could 27, 1996 to publish bail for lacking a court docket date associated to his then-recent DUI arrest, the transcript states. He stated he thought that was why police had been coming to talk with him on that first day, the data state.
And on Could 31, 1996 – now six days after Good was final seen – Chief District Lawyer Investigator Invoice Hanley interviewed Flores, who met with Hanley on the Cal Poly Police Division, court docket paperwork state.
KRISTIN SMART TRIAL: CALIFORNIA JURIES HEAR FROM CAL POLY STUDENT’S ROOMMATE ABOUT NIGHT OF DISAPPEARANCE
“Flores claimed that he knew Good as Roxy and that she had come as much as him and launched herself however that was the extent of their dialog,” prosecutors recounted in court docket papers. “Flores claimed that he didn’t discover Roxy engaging and, ‘didn’t like these kind of ladies.’”
The papers add: “Flores additionally claimed he didn’t contact, contact, or speak to her in the course of the occasion.”
He additionally allegedly advised the investigator that Good “walked off on her personal in direction of her dorm. However previous witnesses advised police Good was so intoxicated that she was unable to face or stroll on her personal.
“When requested why, if Good was so intoxicated, he didn’t stroll her to her dorm[,] Flores replied that he didn’t consider it,” court docket papers state.
Hanley additionally requested Flores why he “would take a bathe if he had a nasty style in his mouth,” court docket data state. He allegedly didn’t have a response.
Paul went on to inform investigators his father picked him up from campus and took him house that Sunday.
The Black Eye
Flores was requested a number of instances about an obvious black eye on the suitable aspect of his face, and gave a variety of explanations as to the way it occurred.
Throughout an interview on Could 30, 1996, Flores advised police he received the black eye after he “received elbowed enjoying basketball.” The game, he stated, additionally defined the scabs on his knees, in response to transcripts.
On Could 31, 1996, When requested once more concerning the black eye that had fashioned on Flores’ proper aspect, “Flores claimed he received the black eye from enjoying basketball on Monday” – two days after Good was final seen – with a buddy, data state.
However the buddy who performed basketball with Flores on that Monday additionally noticed Flores the day earlier than, on Sunday, and stated Flores was already sporting the black eye then. Flores, he stated, advised him he “wakened with it.”
And once they did play basketball on Monday, “Flores didn’t get hit within the face,” the buddy allegedly advised investigators.
Courtroom data alleged that Flores additionally advised investigators he received the black eye whereas “engaged on his automobile.”
Courtroom papers additionally describe data from a lady who had a run-in with Flores whereas skateboarding with mates. She advised investigators she was 17 or 18 years outdated in August and September 1996, across the time she was skateboarding in San Luis Obispo with six to eight individuals, together with Flores.
“[A] radio commercial got here on that piqued everybody’s curiosity,” court docket papers state. “A Public Service Announcement was learn asking if anybody had details about Kristin Good or her disappearance.”
KRISTIN SMART’S CALIFORNIA TRIAL: JURY HEARS FROM MISSING WOMAN’S PARENTS, BROTHER IN LONG-AWAITED MURDER CASE
In keeping with court docket papers, “Flores responded to the PSA by saying that b—- was a d— tease and that he was achieved enjoying along with her. He buried/put her beneath his ramp in Huasna.”
Hudson allegedly couldn’t recall if Flores stated “put her” or “buried” when uttering the sentence, court docket papers state.
“It didn’t seem to Hudson that he was joking as he was not laughing or smiling,” paperwork allege. Hudson left, and stated the “vomited” the following time she noticed him.
CALIFORNIA KRISTIN SMART TRIAL FOR PAUL FLORES AND DAD BEGINS 25+ YEARS AFTER COLLEGE STUDENT’S DISAPPEARANCE
However she didn’t contact the police “as a result of she was afraid, and he knew individuals she frolicked with.” It was a long time earlier than her account got here out within the “Your Personal Yard” Podcast, a preferred sequence concerning the case.
Daniel Bibb, a former Manhattan assistant district attorney-turned legal protection lawyer, prosecuted New York Metropolis Dr. Robert Bierenbaum for the 1985 homicide of his spouse, Gail Katz.
KRISTIN SMART CALIFORNIA TRIAL: PAUL FLORES’, FATHER’S ATTORNEYS TRY TO POKE HOLES IN DECADES-OLD MURDER CASE
The prosecutor accused Bierenbaum, a former plastic surgeon and pilot, of strangling his spouse after which dumping her physique from an airborne aircraft because it hovered over the Atlantic Ocean. He and his crew secured a conviction towards Bierenbaum in October 2000.
Twenty years later, Bierenbaum confessed to the homicide throughout a parole board listening to.
The account of occasions that prosecutors argued was almost precise to what had Bibb stated occurred. Chatting with Fox Information Digital, Bibb stated prosecutors’ portrayal “was the one clarification that was affordable.”
“There have been two elements to constructing this case: The primary was, can we show that she is deceased? … And taking a look at all proof – not solely the proof because it existed then, however the proof that was developed,” he defined. “There are two points right here: Is she lifeless, and who killed her?”
KRISTIN SMART CASE: ACCUSED KILLER PAUL FLORES LOSES BID TO HAVE CASE DISMISSED WEEKS BEFORE TRIAL
A legal case doesn’t must be fashioned with bodily proof – circumstantial proof is adequate. However a scarcity of bodily proof makes a case extraordinarily harder.
He added: “The issue was, might we show it past an affordable doubt? And after we had been achieved investigating and we … sat down and went over it piece-by-piece, we got here to the conclusion that she was lifeless, and he did it.”
Bibb known as the Bierenbaum prosecution “the hardest case of our profession.”
“There is not any bodily proof, there is no confession. This was the hardest trial we had been going to have ever,” he went on. “And after that, I did not have a more durable one, and earlier than I hadn’t had one.”
This text was initially revealed by foxnews.com. Learn the original article here.