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Shoe collector murder: Boyfriend's trial to move forward

A judge ruled that the murder trial of a boyfriend accused of killing his shoe-collecting girlfriend will go forward.
February 7, 2014 12:00:00 AM PST
A judge ruled Friday that the murder trial of a boyfriend accused of killing his renowned shoe-collecting girlfriend will move forward.

Darlene Flynn was known for her great passion for shoes. In fact, the 58-year-old held the Guinness world record for her collection of shoes and shoe related items. She was even featured on the TLC show "My Collection Obsession."

Flynn's on-again off-again boyfriend Justin Smith, who also appeared on the show, stands accused of her murder.

Riverside County Sheriff's Homicide investigator Robert Stites, who interrogated Smith, told the court the 29-year-old flew into a rage following an argument.

"He was angry. There was a bat next to the sliding glass door from the master bedroom. He picked up the bat, turned around, went back and hit her with the bat," said Stites.

A visibly emotional Smith sat with his defense attorneys and listened to the testimony.

"He said the last time he hit her in the back she had stood up near the edge of the pool. He hit her in the head, causing the bat to break. He said her body then went into the pool," said Stites.

Deputies were called to Flynn's home in July 2013 after a neighbor made a 911 call to report hearing screams.

"I observed a female floating face down in the pool in the backyard," said Stites.

Smith's defense team claims Smith may have blacked out.

The defense team has subpoenaed the TLC program to show either the totality or a portion of it to the jury.

The prosecution and the defense will be back in court Feb. 25 to set a date for the trial. Smith could face 26 years in prison if convicted. He remains in custody in lieu of $1 million bail at the Southwest Detention Center in Murrieta.

City News Service contributed to this report.


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