Kristin Smart’s dad, sheriff vow quest for justice isn’t over with Paul Flores murder conviction
This is a special edition of the Daily Times Community Spotlight, in which we dig into an issue that’s very relevant to everyone in Pinal County — race relations and crime.
Kristin Smart believes she didn’t get the justice she deserved.
The 26-year-old was shot and killed June 23 while driving near downtown Tucson in the middle of the day. Her father, Paul Flores, had his conviction for first-degree murder overturned by a Tucson judge in the summer of 2013 despite a key witness recanting his testimony. Now Kristin Smart’s family is seeking a new trial.
Smart’s grandfather, John Smart, a former federal prosecutor, is hoping he can convince an appeals court to let him re-try the case, despite the fact that he had already served more than 30 years in prison and was never charged with a crime.
“Just get a new trial,” Smart’s father, Paul Flores, said. “I did nothing wrong. She deserved a fair trial.”
The district attorney did not comment on the case, citing the pending request for a new trial.
Kristin’s father was arrested March 2, 2014, after a police dispatcher heard a call about a shooting in the area of Third Street and Indian School Road. Smart and Flores were both shot outside the Smart family’s mobile home in the 8,000-block of Third Street at about 1:30 p.m. Smart was pronounced dead at UMC-Tucson Health Care System on June 23.
Kristin had been spending time with her grandfather in Tucson, her father said. Kristin had a big day at work, planning to go downtown to meet her grandfather and go to dinner at a Chinese restaurant, her father said.
Her final conversation with her grandmother, Jeanette Smart, had been about getting involved with the church, Paul Flores said.
“Kristin was on a mission to get involved with the church. She was in the church more than anybody around here, including the pastor,” Paul Flores said. “She told her grandmother, ‘I was going to ask her to be a deaconess.’ When she told her grandmother, she got an attitude with her and said, ‘You’re not taking me seriously?’