The San Luis Obispo district attorney’s office should be barred from prosecuting Paul and Ruben Flores over the murder of Kristin Smart, defense attorneys said in a motion filed Wednesday.
Paul Flores’ attorney Robert Sanger said there is a conflict of interest within the district attorney’s office that would prevent a fair trial for their client, according to the petition filed in San Luis Superior Court. Obispo. It was also turned over to the California Attorney General’s office in Los Angeles.
The hearing will continue despite the request to withdraw the charge from the case.
Paul and Ruben Flores are charged with first degree murder and aiding and abetting after the fact, respectively. The case is in the middle of a preliminary hearing to establish whether there is enough evidence to go to trial.
Sanger said in the motion that several members of the district attorney’s office, as well as witnesses, were seen dressed in purple. Senior Detective Clint Cole said on Tuesday that he wears a purple tie because it is Smart’s favorite color.
“There appears to be a partisan attitude on the part of witnesses who are called by the prosecution,” the motion said.
Sanger said that wearing the color purple shows a lack of objectivity on the part of the pursuit team.
Assistant District Attorney Chris Peuvrelle, who is pursuing the case, and Cole were also recently pictured with the Smart family. The photo was posted to the “Your Own Backyard” podcast Facebook page on May 25.
“A fundamental right of an accused in a criminal case is to be prosecuted by an objective and impartial district attorney who” is not the representative of an ordinary party to a controversy but of a sovereignty whose obligation to govern impartially, “” said the motion, citing Berger v. United States.
An August 25 hearing has been tentatively set for the motion.
Wednesday’s preliminary hearing also included the rest of Adela Morris ‘testimony, in which she told court her dog “strongly alerted” Paul Flores’ dormitory to the smell of human decay during a search in June 1996.
Morris said his dog Cholla was “absolutely one of the most trained dogs in the state of California.”
Cholla searched Paul Flores’ dormitory for the smell of human decay. Morris said the smell of human decay begins immediately after death.
Paul Flores’ bedroom was cleaned before Morris and Cholla searched it, but Morris said smells of human decay could still be detected. She said she trained Cholla in environments where crime scenes were cleaned up and smells could always be alerted.
Cholla and Morris both entered the dormitory blind, meaning they weren’t told which room Paul Flores belonged to or anywhere specifically to search. Morris was not aware until Cholla searched the dormitory of the results of other cadaver dogs who had previously searched the premises.
Morris said she started on the first floor with Cholla. She left her off leash and stood by the front door to let Cholla investigate.
Cholla took an interest in a few doors, sniffed the cracks, but alerted to a door: room 128, that of Paul Flores. Morris said it was the loudest alert she had ever seen from Cholla.
Cholla was then admitted into the room and alerted to the desk and bed on the left side of the room – on Paul Flores’ side. Morris said Cholla was not interested in the right side of the room.
Morris added that Cholla was interested in a trash can that was on the left side of the room, but had not alerted her.
Cholla searched the three floors of the dormitory. Morris said Cholla had not alerted anywhere other than in Paul Flores’ dormitory.
Morris’s second dog, Cirque, who she says is not as well trained as Cholla, also searched the room and alerted the same areas as Cholla. She said it was the only alert Circus had ever made while investigating a scene in which she had treated him.
Cholla was also taken to search Muir Hall, where Smart lived, but did not alert or show interest in the dorm.
Cholla also alerted about a piece of plastic in a dumpster. She also searched the Performing Arts Center, in which Cholla expressed interest, but alerted no scent.
Morris said Cholla did not inspect the exterior of Paul Flores’ dormitory.
When asked if the handler’s body language could influence the dog, Morris replied that it was possible, but that she was confident in his ability to remain as neutral as possible.
At the end of Wednesday’s hearing, Timothy Davis was brought to the stand and began his testimony about attending the party on Crandall Way. It was the party Smart was seen at before his disappearance.
Davis’ testimony will resume on Thursday.
Record-breaking reporter Cameryn Oakes covers breaking news and the community. She can be reached at [email protected]. Support local news, subscribe to The Stockton Record at https://www.recordnet.com/subscribenow.