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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.

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About the Author:

Matthew Keys

Matthew Keys is the publisher of The Desk and reports on the business and policy matters involving the broadcast television, streaming video and radio industries. He previously worked for Thomson Reuters, Disney-ABC, Tribune Broadcasting and McNaughton Newspapers. Matthew is based in Northern California, has won numerous awards in the field of journalism, and is a member of IRE (Investigative Reporters and Editors).