Fresno County DA Charges Prison Attacker of Kristin Smart Killer - GV Wire - Explore. Explain. Expose
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Fresno County DA Charges Prison Attacker of Kristin Smart Killer



Pleasant Valley State Prison inmate Jason Budrow has been charged with attacking convicted Kristen Smart murderer Paul Ruben Flores. (GV Wire Composite/Paul Marshall)
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On Aug. 23, an inmate at Coalinga’s Pleasant Valley State Prison attacked the man convicted of murdering college student Kristin Smart, whose case made national headlines and was featured in many true-crime documentaries.

Now, the Fresno County District Attorney’s Office is charging the attacker with attempted murder, assault, and possession of a deadly.

Fresno County prosecutors allege that 43-year-old Jason Richard Budrow slashed Paul Ruben Flores’ neck with a manufactured weapon. Flores had to be flown to Community Regional Medical Center for treatment.

Budrow Has History of Murder in Prison

Budrow is serving two life sentences without the possibility of parole. The first sentence came when Budrow was found guilty of murdering his ex-girlfriend, Margret Dalton, in Riverside County. Because of a lying-in-wait charge, he was eligible for the death penalty. Budrow surrendered to the Lake Elsinore Police Department, saying he had to kill her because he thought Dalton was a police informant, according to CBS News.

The second life sentence came for murdering cellmate Roger Kibbe in February 2021. Prosecutors decided not to pursue the death penalty for the murder of Kibbe. In a written letter to the Mercury News, Budrow admitted to murdering Kibbe to get a single-man cell and avenge Kibbe’s victims.

Budrow was also convicted of sexually assaulting a 14-year-old girl in 2004.

Burdrow will be arraigned on Jan. 8, 2024.

Jason Budrow (left) allegedly slashed Paul Ruben Flores’ neck in August 2023. (CDCR)

Flores Sentenced to 25 Years to Life for Smart’s Murder

Flores (was sentenced to serve 25 years to life in state prison after a jury convicted him in October of murdering Smart in 1996.

Smart, a freshman at Cal Poly from Stockton, was reported missing in May 1996 following Memorial Day weekend.  A 25-year investigation ensued, resulting in the 2021 arrest and subsequent conviction of Flores.

Smart’s remains have never been found, but she was declared legally dead in 2002.

Flores was transferred to the prison in Coalinga just a week before he was attacked. He came from North Kern State Prison, where prisoners are received and processed before being assigned to another facility.

Photo of Kristen Smart

This undated photo released by the FBI shows Kristin Smart, the California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo student who disappeared in 1996. Smart was last seen in May 1996, while returning to her dorm after an off-campus party.  (FBI via AP)


Edward Smith began reporting for GV Wire in May 2023. His reporting career began at Fresno City College, graduating with an associate degree in journalism. After leaving school he spent the next six years with The Business Journal, doing research for the publication as well as covering the restaurant industry. Soon after, he took on real estate and agriculture beats, winning multiple awards at the local, state and national level. You can contact Edward at 559-440-8372 or at

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