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Judge: Suspect can be tried in 2013 murder-for-hire case

A man arrested on suspicion of killing a Paso Robles man on behalf of the victim’s ex-girlfriend can be tried for murder, according to a San Luis Obispo County Superior Court judge.

The judge ruled that there was probably cause to try David Rodriguez Hernandez for murder, conspiracy to commit kidnapping, robbery, and assault with a deadly weapon in connection to the 2013 murder of Victor Hugo Sanchez.

Sanchez was shot and killed in Paso Robles in 2013. His ex-girlfriend, Maria del Carmen Granados Fajardo, paid a group of men to attack and kidnap Sanchez which ultimately led to him being murdered.

On October 6, 2012, Sanchez was attacked with a tire iron which left him with multiple broken bones. Just a few short months later, the hired men returned to kidnap and shoot Sanchez in the knees. According to the San Luis Obispo County District Attorney’s Office, when Sanchez fought back against his attackers, he was shot multiple times in a parking lot of an apartment building. He later died from his injuries.

After being on the run for six years, Hernandez was extradited from Mexico on January 30 to face charges as one of the people who was hired to attack Sanchez. He was booked into the San Luis Obispo County Jail while awaiting a judge’s ruling to determine if there was probable cause to try him with murder.

On Thursday, after a three-day preliminary hearing, a judge concluded that there was significant enough probable cause to charge Hernandez. He will appear in court on July 31 to be arraigned on the charges and the case will be set for trial.

Three other suspects believed to be involved in the murder of Sanchez are still wanted. Fajardo was eventually prosecuted and sentenced to 21 years to life in prison in 2014 for hiring the men.

The Paso Robles Police Department investigated the case with the assistance of the District Attorney’s Bureau of Investigation.

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