Split verdict in Kristin Smart murder: Why Paul Flores was found guilty but not his dad and dad’s half brother
A jury found Paul Flores guilty on all charges in the killing of his 17-year-old girlfriend, Kristin Smart, in 2010, with no finding on whether his dad, Francisco Flores, did the crime.
The couple had been dating for more than a year, and their relationship ended suddenly over the weekend of January 10, 2010.
Flores called 911 and told dispatchers he had strangled Smart in their apartment in Phoenix, Arizona, and then left her to die. Flores told police he had grabbed her around the throat, but medical evidence, police said, proved that she had been alive and breathing when she was first strangled to death.
Smart’s death was ruled a homicide, but a trial in April 2017 ended with a mistrial.
At a hearing in the case last week, District Judge Michael Stapleton found a third defendant, Rafael Gonzalez, guilty of killing Smart.
Gonzalez’s father, Francisco Flores Jr., did not kill Smart, but was convicted of assisting his half-brother, Joseph Flores, who did the killing, according to court records.
At least six other people are accused in the killing, including four of Kristin Smart’s four siblings. Kristin’s half brother, Joseph Flores Sr., and Kristin’s biological father, Francisco Flores, were tried together in the 2014 trial, which ended with a hung jury. Jose Luis Garcia, Kristin Smart’s stepfather, is also accused in the killing of Smart.
Smart’s family has called for a retrial and the death penalty to be sought against Flores.
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The family of Kristin Smart, who was found dead in their Phoenix apartment, are calling for a retrial of their killer, saying they need closure. Inside Edition’s Tom Jones investigates the case.
The victim’s family have long wanted a death penalty against Flores. In a statement they issued following the verdict, Kristin’s family said:
“The family of Kristin Smart and the community deserve a capital murder conviction and sentence for Paul Flores Sr. and Kristin Smart’s killer,” the statement said. “Kristin should have been the first victim of the killer. He should have killed her at the start of the relationship. He should be the person who has to pay for the death