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    Killer of college student Kristin Smart stabbed in California prison in second attack in a year

    By Kelly Rissman,


    Paul Flores , the man convicted of murdering Kristin Smart in 1996, was stabbed in a California prison , marking the second time he has been attacked behind bars within the past year.

    Flores, 47, was stabbed by a fellow inmate just before 3.30pm in the recreation yard at Pleasant Valley State Prison on Wednesday, the Associated Press reported.

    After receiving treatment at an outside medical facility, he returned to the prison in a “fair condition”, the outlet wrote.

    Officials told the outlet that the unnamed inmate who attacked Flores was placed in restricted housing.

    Two “inmate-manufactured weapons” were recovered from the scene, officials added, noting that the assault is being investigated as an attempted homicide.

    Wednesday’s incident comes months after Flores was stabbed in the neck by a fellow inmate at the same prison in August. He was taken to the hospital in “serious condition” but returned two days later.

    It’s unclear if he was injured by the same inmate in both attacks.

    The Independent has reached out to Flores’s lawyer and the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation for further comment.

    Flores is currently serving 25 years to life in state prison for the murder of Kristin Smart . The then 19-year-old vanished from California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo in 1996.

    Although her body has never been recovered, she was declared legally dead in 2002.

    Flores was arrested in 2021 and was convicted of first-degree murder a year later. Flores was the last person to be seen with Smart , and prosecutors alleged he killed her during an attempted rape in his dorm room when they were both students.

    Smart’s family sued the California college in January 2024, alleging that university officials could have prevented her death if they had handled school police reports about Flores, which were filed by four other female students.

    In the reports, the four women accused Flores of stalking and harassing them – and in one case, trying to break into an apartment – months before Smart’s disappearance.

    “Had the university acted properly, conducted a thorough investigation into Flores’s past concerning behaviour, and implemented appropriate disciplinary measures, Kristin would likely still be alive today. Instead, our family has been left to grieve her absence for 27 agonising years,” a family statement said.

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