A Paso Robles woman who allegedly paid $12,000 to have her ex-boyfriend roughed up on two different occasions will face jurors beginning this week in a sensational murder trial expected to last several weeks.
Jury selection began Monday in the trial of Maria del Carmen Granados Fajardo, 51, who is charged with several felonies, including murder, kidnapping, conspiracy and robbery. The San Luis Obispo County District Attorney’s Office says Fajardo committed murder when the three men she hired to shoot 37-year-old Victor Sanchez in the kneecaps wound up killing him.
Fajardo has pleaded not guilty.
According to previous court testimony, Fajardo told law enforcement she had dated Sanchez for 10 years but broke up with him in 2012 after he committed domestic violence. She also allegedly accused Sanchez of sleeping with other women.
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She is accused of commissioning two separate attacks.
In October 2012, Sanchez was lured to a Paso Robles bar and then assaulted by strangers on a Templeton roadside. During that attack, Sanchez suffered a broken nose, a broken arm and several cuts.
Several months after the attack, Sanchez told police he suspected Fajardo was behind the crime.
Not content with the results, investigators believe, Fajardo paid for a second attack. While three teens were told to abduct and shoot Sanchez in the knees, he was fatally gunned down in front of his Paso Robles apartment complex on the night of Feb. 23, 2013.
There are eight suspects in the two different cases, though only four have been apprehended.
Crystal Lynn Garner, 28, of Stockton was sentenced to four years in prison in January for helping set up the first attack, while her boyfriend, Joseph Villarreal Jr., 26, of Stockton, received a six-year-term for his role in the incident.
Garner’s sister, Christine Lee Garner, 26, of Ceres, allegedly participated in the first conspiracy and knew of the second. She is scheduled to get an eight-year-term in exchange for her testimony during Fajardo’s trial.
Christine Garner’s husband, David Rodriguez Hernandez, 38, allegedly participated in both attacks, eventually recruiting three teens to abduct and shoot Sanchez. Hernandez is still on the run, as are the alleged hit men, Edgar Ontiveros, 19, Louis Henry Madrigal, 20, and Alejandro Anguiano, 20, all from Modesto.
Ontiveros is believed to have been the shooter.
Roughly 50 people are expected to testify at the trial, which could last through Dec. 19. Attorneys could offer opening statements at the end of the week.