Paul and Ruben Flores arraignments lasted until Monday
A California man and his father charged in connection with the 1996 disappearance of 19-year-old college student Kristin Smart didn't enter pleas during their very first virtual courtroom appearance Thursday morning.
Paul Flores, whom investigators declared a"prime suspect" last month, created his distant look in San Luis Obispo Superior Court wearing a suit and tie, while his 80-year-old dad, Ruben Flores, appeared in an orange prison jumpsuit.
Defense lawyers for the Flores' requested the arraignments be continued till Monday, when they'll enter a plea and listen to arguments associated with bail. A San Luis Obispo Superior Court judge approved the petition and set a fresh date for April 19 at 1:30 p.m. PT.
The judge also accepted the defense attorneys' request for a protective order for Paul and Ruben Flores on account of the high-profile nature of the instance.
Paul Flores remained held without bond, while bail because of his father Ruben remained set at $250,000.
Paul Flores was represented by defense attorneys Robert Sanger and Sarah Sanger, whilst lawyer Harold Mesick represented Ruben Flores.
Smart's family released a statement after the arraignment.
"After almost 25 decades of waiting, now's delay in the arraignment process wasn't unexpected or surprising," the family's statement said. "Make no mistake, we've started the final quest to deliver justice for Kristin. We know we're in great hands with the San Luis Obispo County District Attorney's office, and we will wait patiently to the procedure to begin"
Prosecutors have alleged that Flores caused Smart's departure while raping or attempting to rape her in his dorm room.
Ruben Flores was also arrested at his home in Arroyo Grande, also charged with being an accessory after murder.
Smart was a 19-year-old student at California Polytechnic State University at San Luis Obispo when she went missing in 1996. Paul Flores, who at the time was also a pupil there, is believed to have been the last person seen with her until she went missing on the way to her dorm after a celebration.
Smart's body has never been discovered.
Investigators had combed the father's house with ground-penetrating radar along with cadaver dogs last month. Researchers have not revealed what was discovered.
Flores has denied wrongdoing for almost 25 years and invoked his Fifth Amendment right not to answer grand jury questions related to the circumstance.