NATIONAL NEWS

California inmate charged with attempted murder in attack on Kristin Smart’s killer

Dec 6, 2023, 3:27 PM | Updated: 6:04 pm

FRESNO, Calif. (AP) —

A twice-convicted killer has been charged with attempted murder for a prison yard attack on a fellow inmate convicted of the high-profile killing of California college student Kristin Smart, who vanished 27 years ago, prosecutors said Wednesday.

A complaint filed Nov. 30 also charged Jason Richard Budrow, 43, with counts involving crimes by a prisoner and possessing a weapon as well as enhancements for great bodily injury, the Fresno County District Attorney’s Office said.

Prosecutors allege that Budrow slashed the neck of inmate Paul Flores with a “manufactured weapon” Aug. 23 at Pleasant Valley State Prison in Coalinga. Flores was hospitalized but returned to the prison two days later.

Flores was recently transferred to the prison to serve a sentence of 25 years to life for the murder of Smart, then 19, who disappeared from California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo over Memorial Day weekend in 1996. Flores was arrested in 2021, convicted in 2022 and sentenced last March.

Budrow is serving life terms for strangling a girlfriend in 2010 in Riverside County and the 2021 strangling of a Mule Creek State Prison cellmate, serial killer Roger Reece Kibbe, who was known as the I-5 Strangler in the 1970s and 1980s.

Budrow is scheduled for arraignment Jan. 8. The district attorney’s office said the public defender’s office is likely to be assigned to represent him.

Budrow couldn’t be reached for comment. Prison rules do not allow calls in to inmates, and staff do not take messages to them.

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California inmate charged with attempted murder in attack on Kristin Smart’s killer