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Ruben Flores released from jail after posting bail

Ruben Flores background 2021.jpg
Posted at 11:11 PM, Apr 21, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-22 10:46:42-04

Ruben Flores was released from jail after posting bail at about 11 p.m. Wednesday night.

Flores had been behind bars at the San Luis Obispo County Jail since the morning of April 13 when he and his son, Paul, were arrested in connection with the 1996 disappearance of Cal Poly student Kristin Smart.

Susan Flores, Paul's mother, showed up at the jail at around 10 p.m. and Ruben left with her after he was released.

KSBY crews at the scene asked Susan for a comment, to which she responded, they have a gag order.

Paul Flores, 44, is charged with first-degree murder and has been denied bail.

Ruben is charged with being an accessory to the crime. The criminal complaint against him alleges he helped hide Kristin’s body.

Both have pleaded not guilty.

Earlier on Wednesday, a judge agreed to lower Ruben’s bail from $250,000 to $50,000. He must pay 10 percent of the $50,000 bail and provide the court with his passport, which his attorney says is expired, within 24 hours of release.

He is also ordered to obey all laws, stay within San Luis Obispo County and submit to electronic monitoring.

Judge Craig van Rooyen's decision Wednesday afternoon came after reviewing Ruben Flores’s statement of assets and additional information filed by the prosecutor.

Ruben’s attorney, Harold Mesick, told the judge, “My client poses no threat to the public and I don’t believe he should be punished because over 50 some years, 57 years of working, he’s been able to buy a house in Arroyo Grande and put aside a little bit of money in retirement.”

Mesick added that after paying fixed expenses every month, Ruben still needs to take money out of his retirement account and pay penalties on that.

Mesick was requesting Ruben be released on his own recognizance with whatever conditions the court felt were just, without having to pay any bail. Mesick went on to say that if the court did impose financial bail, it would deprive him of hiring biologists and soil experts he says they need to help defend Ruben’s case.

Prosecutor Chris Peuvrelle told the judge he submitted paperwork showing Flores could afford ample bail and requested it remain at $250,000.

Peuvrelle argued that while the bail schedule for the accessory charge is less than the $250,000 originally set, the schedule does not differentiate between charges. Peuvrelle felt the amount for accessory to murder should not be the same as that for, as an example, robbery.

Judge van Rooyen said, “Setting bail under something more than he can afford is a detention under the law.”