Crime

Suspect in Paso Robles murder-for-hire case arrested after 6 years on the run

David Rodriguez Hernandez, 37, husband of Christine Lee Garner, was arrested in January 2019 in connection with the killing of Victor Hugo Sanchez in February 2013.
David Rodriguez Hernandez, 37, husband of Christine Lee Garner, was arrested in January 2019 in connection with the killing of Victor Hugo Sanchez in February 2013.

Six years after police first issued a warrant for his arrest, a man suspected of helping to kill a Paso Robles woman’s boyfriend in 2013 murder-for-hire case was found in Mexico and returned to San Luis Obispo County for prosecution.

According to San Luis Obispo County Jail logs, David Rodriguez Hernandez, 43, was booked into County Jail on Jan. 30, on murder, conspiracy to commit a crime, robbery and assault with a deadly weapon charges, among others.

Hernandez was wanted for allegedly helping to murder Victor Hugo Sanchez in 2013.

According to court documents, Hernandez was hired by Sanchez’s former girlfriend Maria del Carmen Granados Fajardo to kidnap and injure her ex-boyfriend.

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Victor Hugo Sanchez

Fajardo was later arrested and sentenced to 21 years to life in prison.

Her trial revealed what appeared to be a massive revenge plot against Sanchez, involving two separate assaults: one involving a hookup-gone-wrong that left Sanchez beaten and bloody, and the second that led to his death.

A key prosecution witness during Fajardo’s trial said a trio of teenage boys was hired by Hernandez to kidnap and shoot Sanchez in the knees following the first assault.

According to court documents, Hernandez hired and then drove the three teens to Sanchez’s Paso Robles home in February 2013 to complete the contract.

The teens attempted to kidnap him, according to a report by the probation department, but Sanchez refused to get into their car. He was then shot in the head and torso and killed.

During Fajardo’s trial, Hernandez’s wife, Christine Garner, said she and Hernandez didn’t intend for Sanchez to die when they recruited the teens to shoot him.

“Me and David both discussed that nobody was gonna die,” Garner said, according to previous Tribune reports.

Garner agreed to a plea bargain requiring her to serve eight years in prison for robbery, conspiracy and accessory after the fact for her role in the case. Her sister, Crystal Garner, was sentenced to four years in prison for her role in the first assault against Sanchez, while Crystal Garner’s boyfriend Joseph Villarreal Jr. was sentenced to six years in prison for his involvement in the case.

In court documents, the District Attorney’s Office said Hernandez was paid $8,000 by Fajardo after Sanchez’s death.

Hernandez has spent the past six years on the run. Assistant District Attorney Eric Dobroth said he was detained in Mexico and extradited back to San Luis Obispo County to face charges.

On Monday, Hernandez pleaded not guilty to the murder, conspiracy, robbery and assault with a deadly weapon charges.

He’s expected to have a pre-preliminary hearing with Judge Jacquelyn Duffy on Feb. 20.

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Kaytlyn Leslie writes about business and development for The San Luis Obispo Tribune. Hailing from Nipomo, she also covers city governments and happenings in the South County region, including Arroyo Grande, Pismo Beach and Grover Beach. She joined The Tribune in 2013 after graduating from Cal Poly with her journalism degree.
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