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Darlene Flynn Update: Boyfriend of reality-TV shoe collector charged in her death

Justin Charles Smith during a court appearance, July 25, 2013.
CBS Los Angeles
(CBS) RIVERSIDE, Calif. -The boyfriend of Darlene Flynn, a Southern California woman best known for appearing on the TLC program "My Collection Obsession," is charged in her murder, CBS Los Angeles reports.

Flynn, 58, was found dead in her swimming pool in Menifee on Monday. Prosecutors say she was beaten to death with a baseball bat.

Her boyfriend, 29-year-old Justin Charles Smith, did not enter a plea to a murder charge in court Thursday. He mouthed, "I'm sorry," repeatedly to his family as he faced the judge, the station reports.

His arraignment was pushed back until August 8 and he remains in custody on $1 million bail.

Sheriff's deputies were called to Flynn's home around 2p.m. Monday after receiving calls about a domestic disturbance. Deputies removed Flynn from the pool, where a preliminary examination found that the victim "had injuries consistent with blunt force trauma," according to Sgt. Todd Torrenti.

Torrenti said deputies saw a shirtless male running from the back of the residence when they attempted to enter the home. Hours later, Smith was arrested.

Court records show Smith had a previous misdemeanor conviction for grand theft in 2012. Investigators say he stole Flynn's car and sold it for a profit. In that case, he was sentenced to three years probation. As part of his probation, he was ordered not to have negative contact with Flynn.

Flynn, known as "The Shoe Lady" and the "Queen of Sole," had collected more than 16,000 shoes and shoe-related products. She recently set a Guinness World Record for her number of shoes.

Complete coverage of Darlene Flynn on Crimesider

  • Crimesider Staff

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