Developer of Ruben Flores’ home, former roommate testify in Kristin Smart murder trial – KSBY News

Deck Builder

The Kristin Smart murder trial resumed Monday after a delay over an unnamed “evidence issue” on Friday.

Paul and Ruben Flores are on trial for the murder of Kristin Smart, who disappeared from the Cal Poly campus in May 1996 after an off-campus party.

Witnesses say Paul Flores was the last person to be seen with her. Paul is charged with the 19-year-old’s murder while his father, Ruben, is charged as an accessory, accused of helping hide the body.

A contractor who built Ruben’s home and a former roommate who lived in the house from 2010 to 2020 were both on the witness stand Monday, but before testimony could begin, Monterey County Superior Court Judge Jennifer O’Keefe met with several jurors independently to discuss conflicts in attendance.

This latest delay followed an early end to proceedings on Friday after only about 15 minutes of testimony.

Just after 9:30 a.m. Monday, the contractor who built the house Ruben currently lives in started answering questions.

Pool photo

Contractor Ed Chadwick on the stand Aug. 29, 2022

Developer Ed Chadwell described the steep slope of the lot and construction of the home’s foundation, which required digging down to solid rock sometimes as deep as eight feet under the soil.

San Luis Obispo County Deputy District Attorney Christopher Peuvrelle asked Chadwell if they found any remains under or near the house when workers were building the deck and if any serious injuries were reported by workers.

Pool photo

A photo shown in court Aug. 29 of Ruben Flores’ home under construction

Chadwell answered no to both questions while also explaining how Ruben and Susan Flores agreed to purchase the house while it was under construction. It was completed and handed over to the Flores’ in August of 1991.

During Cross examination, Paul’s attorney, Robert Sanger, showed Chadwell some of the building plans and permit application as well as several pictures of the house while it was under construction.

Pool photo

A portion of Ruben Flores’ home shown in court Aug. 29, 2022

Sanger had the builder explain how the deck was built and describe any modifications to the home’s foundation once it was under construction. He also showed Chadwell some pink construction twine and asked him if it was similar to what he used to mark out the foundation in 1991.

Chadwell said it was similar and the color he preferred to use was pink as it shows up well.

Pool photo

A contractor on Ruben Flores’ home testified about pink twine he used during construction of Ruben’s home.

Sanger also asked Chadwell if he’d ever used diesel fuel as a “release agent” to help the concrete from sticking to the construction forms. Chadwell said it was a common practice in the ’90s and that he’d sometimes …….


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