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Shoe collector's murder: Suspect appears in court

July 25, 2013 12:00:00 AM PDT
A man accused of murdering his ex-girlfriend, who was known for her world-record shoe collection, appeared in court Thursday.

Justin Smith's court appearance was short; it only lasted about 60 seconds. His arraignment was continued, which means he will have to wait two more weeks before entering a plea.

Smith is accused of killing his ex-girlfriend, 58-year-old Darlene Flynn. According to the criminal complaint, Smith allegedly used a baseball bat to kill Flynn. Her beaten body was found in the backyard swimming pool of her Menifee home on Monday.

Flynn, the so-called "Shoe Lady," was recently featured on the TLC show, "My Collection Obsession," to showcase her collection of nearly-15,000 shoe-related items. Smith also appeared on the show with her.

Flynn's neighbors said there apparently have been a lot of problems between the couple. Authorities responded to the home on Monday after a neighbor heard shouting coming from the home and called 911.

Investigators said Smith was also on probation at the time for an incident last year in which he was ordered to stay away from Flynn.

"It was a case in which he was charged with...taking her car and selling it without her permission. I believe he entered a plea in that case and was sentenced in that case," said John Hall, a spokesman for the Riverside County District Attorney's Office.


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