Drive-by killing of victim may be related
Paso Robles police say three more suspects were involved in the assault and robbery of a victim that occurred on Oct. 6 of last year in Templeton.
According to PRPD, the investigation took an unexpected turn when the victim, Victor Sanchez, was shot multiple times in front of his Paso Robles apartment complex along the 3100 block of Spring Street on Feb. 23. He died as a result of those wounds.
Police say once they linked Sanchez as a victim to an assault and robbery that was reported to the San Luis Obispo Sheriff’s Department, they got together with SLO detectives and reviewed investigative reports to determine if the crimes were linked.
According to police, Sanchez was assaulted and robbed on Oct. 6 of last year.Police say Sanchez met with a woman at a bar in Paso Robles. Video surveillance from the bar recorded this meeting. After having a few drinks, police say Sanchez left the bar with the woman and drove to Templeton in Sanchez’ car.
After they stopped along Booker Road, another car pulled in behind Sanchez’ car and blocked them. Police say Sanchez was forced from his car when he was beat with a crowbar and robbed of his wallet and car keys. Nearby residents overheard the commotion and scared the suspects away.
The suspects, including the woman from the bar, fled the scene before deputies arrived on the scene. Sanchez sustained a broken nose and forearm. Sanchez provided key details to detectives that helped PRPD investigators identify two suspects involved with the robbery and assault.
The woman in the bar room surveillance video was identified as Crystal Lynn Garner, 26, of Stockton. She was already incarcerated on unrelated charges in San Joaquin County.
Investigators also identified Garner’s boyfriend, Joseph Villarreal Jr., 24, of Stockton as another suspect in the robbery and assault. He also was already in custody on unrelated charges, serving a prison sentence with the California Department of Corrections.
Investigators say three more suspects were involved in the incident. Included as suspects were Crystal Garner’s sister, Christine Lee Garner, 24, and Christine’s husband, David Rodriguez Hernandez, 37, both of Ceres. Police they were involved in the planning and eventual assault and robbery.
Investigators say Maria del Carmen Granados Fajardo, 49, of Paso Robles orchestrated and financed the robbery and assault of Sanchez. Granados was Sanchez’ ex-girlfriend. Police say the two had resided together in Paso Robles off and on until their relationship ended in mid-2012. Investigators suspect the robbery and assault was planned and financed by Granados after a bitter breakup with Sanchez.
Investigators say suspect Hernandez is related to Granados through a former marriage with Hernandez’ brother. PRPD, with the assistance of the San Diego County District Attorney’s Office, determined Garner and Hernandez fled to Mexico shortly after Sanchez’ murder.
PRPD investigators worked with the SLO County District Attorney’s office and obtained arrest warrants for both of them.
Garner was subsequently arrested by Mexican authorities for the warrants and returned to the United States on April 17 and she was booked into the SLO County Jail on April 18.
On April 24, PRPD and SLO County DA investigators arrested Granados in connection with the robbery and assault in Fayetteville, Georgia where she currently awaits extradition.
Hernandez is still believed to be hiding in Mexico and has active arrest warrants in connection with the assault and robbery.
The SLO County DAs office is working with Mexican authorities to return Hernandez to the United States. Investigators continue to look into the link between the two crimes. It is unknown at this time what evidence exists linking the two crimes.
In response to whether the crime(s) were gang related, PRPD Lieutenant Ty Lewis said, “We do not currently believe this is gang related.”
Regarding how the crimes are linked, Lewis said, “We will not be releasing any additional information about the investigation. We’re hopeful more information will be forthcoming.”
KCOY: Man Shot to Death in Paso Robles was Previously Robbed, Assaulted