A third pre-preliminary hearing canceled for Jun. 23

SAN LUIS OBISPO — The second pre-preliminary hearing for Paul Flores (44) and Ruben Flores (80) was held on Mon. Jun., 21 at 1:30 p.m. in the San Luis Obispo County Superior Court Department Seven.

The Honorable Judge Craig Van Rooyen is residing.

On Apr. 21, Paul Flores plead not guilty to the murder of Kristin Smart. The sheriff’s office alleges he killed the Cal Poly freshman in 1996 while trying to rape her.

On the same day, Paul’s father, Ruben Flores, pleaded not guilty for accessory after the fact to the murder of Kristin Smart.

Paul Flores is being held with no bail.

Late at night on Apr. 21, Ruben Flores was released on bail from the county jail. Susan Flores, Paul’s mother and Ruben’s estranged wife, posted bail and picked up Ruben from jail.

Ruben Flores was released on a $50,000 bail and on the contingency of giving authorities his passport and complying with electronic monitoring and an ankle monitor.

The pre-preliminary hearings are typically only a few minutes and determine if both parties are ready to move forward with the set preliminary hearing date.

However, during today’s hearing, the court decided whether or not cameras will be allowed in the courtroom during the preliminary hearing. 

All sides confirmed the Jul. 6 preliminary hearing start date.

Dan Laidman provided a briefing from KSBY and NBC News requesting the allowance of audio and visual coverage of the proceedings.

“This is a case that for decades has gripped this community and the nation at large, and people are following it not just for the underlying facts of the case but for what it means for the criminal justice system and how it handled the case,” said Laidman.

Robert Sanger, Paul Flores’s attorney, requested no electronic media coverage, including cameras, but he does not intend to deprive the public of the right to be present at a public hearing.

Harold Mesick, Ruben Flores’s attorney, seconded Sanger’s opposition but added no further comment.

The court will not be live streaming the proceedings. However, the hearing will be live in person, and there will be room for media, family, and the public.

Judge van Rooyen declines live streaming to ensure the selection of a fair and unbiased jury and the privacy rights of the witnesses.

At least one witness has expressed to their attorney fear of being followed and harassed following the preliminary hearing.

Media will be allowed one still camera and one video camera under the agreement of no photos of witnesses or the audience.

Deputy District Attorney Christopher Peuvrelle requested another pre-preliminary hearing on Jun. 28.

Because van Rooyen will be out of the office that week, another pre-preliminary hearing was scheduled for Wednesday, Jun. 23 at 1:30 p.m. in Department 5.

Sanger was concerned over the reason for the pre-preliminary hearing. DDA Peuvrelle told Sanger the reason is in an email that was sent to Sanger.

Attorney Guy Galambos, representing one of the witnesses, appeared to file a motion to quash a subpoena. Peuvrelle scheduled a discussion for the morning of Jul. 6. 

Sanger then requested to have a brief chambers meeting following today’s hearing. 

The next pre-preliminary hearing was scheduled for Wed. Jun. 23 at 1:30 p.m. in Department 5, however, was canceled without notice.  

The preliminary hearing is scheduled to start on Jul. 6.