Reporter faints during press conference on murder trial

Officials in San Luis Obispo County, California hold a press conference after a jury returns a guilty verdict in the disappearance and murder case of Kristin Smart.
Officials in San Luis Obispo County, California react after a television reporter faints during a news conference on Tuesday, October 18, 2022. (Graphic by The Desk)

A press conference on a Central California murder trial was halted for a half-hour after a television news reporter suffered a medical episode on Tuesday.

The incident happened around 4:30 p.m. when law enforcement officials were offering comments to the media after a jury convicted 45-year-old Paul Flores in connection with the disappearance and murder of 19-year-old Kristin Smart in 1996.

While San Luis Obispo County District Attorney Dan Dow was delivering his remarks, a television journalist fainted in the background, drawing gasps from those in attendance and prompting officials to suspend the briefing.

According to a person familiar with the incident, the reporter works for a local television station in the San Francisco market, and appeared dizzy before losing consciousness.

The incident was broadcast live throughout Northern California, with around a dozen stations carrying the press conference across three television markets.

In Sacramento, anchors at television stations KCRA-TV (Channel 3, NBC) and KOVR (Channel 13, CBS) were quick to pull away from the press briefing, explaining to their audiences that a medical episode had apparently transpired. KOVR reporter Madison Keavy later confirmed that a journalist had fainted in the crowd and received medical help a short time later.

Officials resumed their briefing around 5 p.m. local time, with the remainder of the press conference streamed on the Facebook page of the local district attorney.