Prisoner Charged With Attacking Kristin Smart's Killer

Paul Flores was hospitalized in August in California
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 25, 2023 7:33 AM CDT
Updated Dec 7, 2023 12:00 AM CST
Kristin Smart's Killer Attacked Within Days of Prison Move
Paul Flores, who was arrested on April 13, 2021, for the murder of Kristin Smart.   (San Luis Obispo County Sheriff's Office via AP, File)
UPDATE Dec 7, 2023 12:00 AM CST

A twice-convicted murderer who allegedly attacked Paul Flores in a California prison in August has now been charged with attempted murder. Jason Richard Budrow, 43, is also charged with counts involving crimes by a prisoner and possessing a weapon, as well as enhancements for great bodily injury, the AP reports. Flores killed college student Kristin Smart in 1996 and was convicted last year. Budrow strangled his girlfriend in 2010, and while serving his sentence at Mule Creek State Prison in 2021, he also strangled serial killer Roger Reece Kibbe, known as the I-5 Strangler in the 1970s and 1980s.

Aug 25, 2023 7:33 AM CDT

The man convicted of killing California college student Kristin Smart was taken to a hospital in serious condition Wednesday following a prison attack, per Fox News. Paul Flores was convicted of premeditated murder in the 1996 disappearance of Smart, a 19-year-old freshman at California Polytechnic State University, last October. He was sentenced to 25 years to life in March, with the judge calling him "a cancer to society." He'd been moved to Pleasant Valley State Prison in Coalinga, likely to be his permanent home, from North Kern State Prison only five days before the attack, his lawyer, Harold Mesick, told USA Today. "I just pray for his recovery," he said, per the AP.

The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation said Flores, 46, was taken to a medical facility in serious condition. It didn't confirm the attack but said Flores' injuries were under investigation. In a Thursday update, the department said Flores had been upgraded to fair condition, per USA Today. If he continues to improve, he could return to prison under protective custody, Mesick said. He is appealing his conviction, per Fox.

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Prosecutors alleged Flores was the last person seen with Smart, who was intoxicated following an off-campus party, and was seen with a black eye in the days following her disappearance. They said Flores killed Smart in his dorm room during a rape or attempted rape, buried her body under a deck at his family's home, then moved it later. Numerous women accused Flores of drugging and raping them. Prosecutors also uncovered a video Flores had recorded, showing him raping an intoxicated woman. Smart was declared legally dead in 2002. Her body has not been found. (More Paul Flores stories.)

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