The California trial for Paul Flores, the man accused of killing college freshman Kristin Smart in 1996, and his father, who allegedly helped his son hide her body, was “unexpectedly” delayed for two days on Tuesday, though the reason was not immediately known, officials confirmed to Fox News Digital.
Tuesday was supposed to mark the second day of a long-awaited trial for the men charged in connection with the disappearance and presumed death of the 19-year-old woman who has been missing for more than 26 years. Instead, the case was “unexpectedly continued to Thursday,” Monterey County Superior Court spokesperson Norma Ramirez-Zapata wrote in an email to Fox News Digital.
It was not immediately clear if the trials would resume at a normal time on Thursday. Ramirez-Zapata said more information would be released later Tuesday or Wednesday.
Paul Flores, now 45, was charged with murder in connection with Smarts presumed death, though her body has never been recovered. Ruben Flores, 81, was charged as an accessory for allegedly aiding his son in disposing of her body. Both men have pleaded not guilty.
The younger Flores is accused of killing Smart on May 25, 1996, when both were freshman at California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo. Paul was allegedly the last person seen with Smart, who was said to have been intoxicated after they and others had attended an off-campus frat party over the Memorial Day weekend.
Prosecutors have further described that Ruben Flores then helped bury Smart’s body behind his Arroyo Grande home, but later unearthed and relocated the remains.
Defense attorneys tried to poke holes in prosecutors’ statements in their own opening remarks on Monday. Paul Flores’ lawyer also attempted to discredit the use of cadaver dogs and the forensic evidence to which prosecutors have pointed.
Ruben Flores’ defense attorney was expected to deliver his opening statement on Tuesday.