Paul Flores Found Guilty of Murdering Kristin Smart in 1996 – The Jury’s Consistency Is the Evidence
In the last week, two defendants in the Smart Murder have been found guilty and found to be guilty of lesser charges in a verdict that is nearly identical to their original convictions. And a month after the jury failed to find the three men guilty of the murder of Jennifer Hawley, another murder case that is linked to the Smart murder acquits three defendants on charges including capital murder. On Wednesday, a jury in El Paso County, Texas, convicted the man known as “Nick” by the police of the murder of Kristin Smart.
The jury also convicted the second defendant, Nick Hernandez, of “involuntary manslaughter” in connection to the murder, and his cousin, Luis E. Gonzalez, of “causing a deadly weapon to be used against another person.”
On Wednesday, El Paso County District Attorney Greg Willis announced he had also asked a federal judge to overturn a $10 million bail bond for the three defendants who had been taken into custody in connection with the Smart murder. Judge Xavier Rodriguez had denied bail for Nick and Luis and had given the El Paso County jail officials four weeks to prepare for their next court appearance. But after the verdict on July 15, Willis said in a news conference that he was granting bail because he didn’t believe the evidence in the case proved the defendants were accountable for Kristin Smart’s murder.
“We were told [Nick] left on his motorcycle and that she wasn’t there,” Willis said. “The jury says otherwise.” But Willis also said Nick was not involved in the murder. Nick was the driver of the Honda Prelude, a motorcycle, and his two sisters were in the passenger seats, and it is not known if he was able to get away.
The defense attorney for Nick Hernandez, Luis Gonzalez, and Luis E. Gonzalez said Nick’s only involvement in the Smart murder came during the execution of another crime: the robbery of Jose and Sandra Villatoro near the town of Garza on July 25, 1996. That case is connected to the Smart case, but