FRESNO, Calif. – A California prison inmate who is a twice-convicted killer has been charged with attempted murder following a prison yard attack on a high-profile convicted killer responsible for the death of college student Kristin Smart, who vanished 27 years ago, prosecutors confirmed on Wednesday.
Jason Richard Budrow, 43, is charged with attempted murder, prisoner in possession of a weapon as well as enhancements for great bodily injury, the Fresno County District Attorney’s Office said, according to FOX 11 Los Angeles.
Budrow is accused of slashing the neck of fellow inmate and convicted killer Paul Flores with a “manufactured weapon” Aug. 23 at Pleasant Valley State Prison in Coalinga. Following the attack, Flores was hospitalized but returned to the prison two days later.
Budrow is serving life terms for murdering his girlfriend by strangling her to death in 2010 in Riverside County, as well as the 2021 strangulation homicide of a Mule Creek State Prison cellmate, serial killer Roger Reece Kibbe, who was known as the I-5 Strangler in the 1970s and 1980s. If convicted of the new charges, Budrow could face an additional 27 years to life in prison, plus a nine-year determinate sentence for enhancements, BNN reported.
The additional prison exposure is not exactly “punishment” to an inmate already serving two life sentences and does not have to fear the death penalty.
Flores is serving a prison sentence of 25 years to life for the murder of Smart, then 19, who disappeared from California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo over Memorial Day weekend in 1996. Flores was arrested in 2021, convicted in 2022 and sentenced last March, Law Officer previously reported.
Budrow is scheduled to be arraigned Jan. 8.