LOS ANGELES (AP) – The last man seen with Kristin Smart was convicted on Tuesday of killing the college freshman, who vanished from a California campus more than 25 years ago, but his father was acquitted of helping him conceal the crime.
Jurors unanimously found Paul Flores guilty of first-degree murder. He could face 25 years to life in prison when he is sentenced.
In an email, his attorney, Robert Sanger, declined to comment on the verdict because “the matter is still pending”.
A jury in a separate trial found his father, Ruben Flores, not guilty of charges of being an accessory to murder after the fact. The conflicting verdicts were read moments apart in the same courtroom.
“Without Kristin, there’s no joy or happiness in this verdict,” Smart’s father, Stan Smart, said at a news conference after the hearing.
“After 26 years, with today’s split verdict, we learned that our quest for justice for Kristin will continue.”
He described the case as a long, agonising journey and said he was grateful to the two juries for their diligence.
San Luis Obispo County Sheriff Ian Parkinson told reporters at a news conference that the investigation won’t end until Smart’s remains are found.