Paul Flores guilty in murder of Cal Poly student Kristin Smart; his father acquitted
A court in San Luis Obispo has convicted former Cal Poly student Noah Flores in the 2013 slaying of fellow student Kristin Smart, the university announced in May after a trial that drew national attention.
Flores was acquitted at trial of first-degree murder for the death of Kristin Smart, a fellow economics major, and of torture. He was found guilty of the lesser charge of voluntary manslaughter.
The verdict came after a day of deliberations. The jury took about 11 hours to reach the verdict.
“This case has been a long time coming for the family,” said Kristin’s father, Steve Smart, a retired computer programmer. “We are very disheartened, and for Noah, this is an unfortunate outcome, but we knew he would probably be found guilty.”
Nathanial Flores, Noah’s father, said he had expected to be exonerated after a long, hard trial, but he doesn’t know how he came to be found guilty.
He said there are no plans to appeal.
“I don’t think he was responsible in any way,” Nathanial said. “I don’t think this has been a jury trial. I think this has been a sad day, but I’m glad he’s been convicted in this case.”
Nathanial and other family members of Noah’s friends and those who knew him best have taken to social media to express their dismay about the verdict.
They released a statement on Facebook expressing their sadness and frustration, saying they felt like animals were on trial. They also said Noah was exonerated.
“Noah spent three years as a student at Cal Poly because our family could barely afford to feed ourselves with the $600 a semester or the $300 a month that we spent on tuition. He was never on a scholarship,” the statement read. “He was not a criminal. He was not a sex offender. He was not a student that was an ‘in’ student.
“He was innocent, and we are the only people who can prove it, and he will never have to pay for any of that.”
In July, Noah’s father had his own post on Facebook.
“It’s a very sad outcome of this case, but we