Convicted murderer Paul Flores was hospitalized after being attacked in prison, Harold Mesick, an attorney representing Flores, told CBS News. He was taken from Pleasant Valley State Prison to an outside hospital where he was in serious condition, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation said in a statement.

Neither Mesick, the corrections department, nor the local sheriff’s office elaborated on the type of injury Flores sustained.

Flores is serving 25 years to life in a California prison for the murder of Kristin Smart, a college freshman who vanished from the California Polytechnic State University campus in 1996. 

Jurors unanimously found Paul Flores guilty of first-degree murder in October 2022. His sentencing in March marked the culmination of a case that had drawn worldwide attention for over a quarter century. Flores had long been considered a prime suspect in Smart’s death before he was arrested in 2021.

Paul Flores puts on a new N95 mask Aug. 3, 2021, at a preliminary hearing in San Luis Obispo, Calif., as he faces a murder charge in the disappearance of Kristin Smart.

David Middlecamp/The Tribune of San Luis Obispo via AP, Pool

Smart was 19 years old when she vanished while returning to a dorm at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. Flores was also a student at the school.

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

Prosecutors maintained that Flores killed the 19-year-old during an attempted rape on May 25, 1996, in his dorm room at Cal Poly, where both were first-year students. He was the last person seen with Smart as he walked her home from an off-campus party where she became intoxicated.