Paso Robles man may have been killed to silence him
April 15, 2013
Paso Robles’ Victor Hugo Sanchez may have been murdered to prevent his testimony in an upcoming criminal trial — a trial that now probably will not happen.
Sanchez, 37, died from multiple bullet wounds Feb. 23 as he stood in a driveway near his Spring Street apartment. Neighbors comforted him as he died.
Investigators are convinced the killing was not random.
“We are not dealing with this as a drive-by shooting,” Paso Robles Police Lt. Ty Lewis said.
Friends, relatives, and an employer of Sanchez tell similar versions of a 2012 incident that may have been the motivation for his slaying.
Late last year, Sanchez was in a downtown Paso Robles bar, the Crooked Kilt (now known as Pappy McGregor’s Pub and Grill) when he got into a conversation with a young woman at the bar. She asked him to buy her a drink, and he did.
Shortly thereafter, Sanchez and the young woman left the saloon after she reportedly asked to go home with him. As the pair walked down a darkened roadway, two men materialized and attacked and robbed Sanchez. His arm broken, his head split open, Sanchez was hospitalized.
“He was beaten badly,” said Sanchez’ sister, Rita, who noted that Sanchez later said he “did not know” the men who had assaulted him.
One neighbor told KCOY reporter Leah Masuda the day Sanchez died, “He just picked up and recovered and moved on forward from (the attack), he had gone on as if nothing had happened, because that’s how he was.”
At least one of the men suspected of beating Sanchez ended up in San Luis Obispo County Jail after the incident. Authorities are not identifying the man or men, or giving a reason for the incarceration.
But employer Jay Silva said Sanchez had been receiving numerous death threats from unidentified persons regarding his testimony in possible future criminal proceedings against the robbery suspects.
Silva said he was told by a Paso Robles police officer that one of the robbery suspects was released from county lockup Friday, Feb. 22.
“And the next day Victor is dead,” Silva said.
“Yes, there was a mugging incident,” Lewis said. “However, we have no information that person was involved. But certainly we are looking at (them) as suspects possibly involved or linked to this homicide.”
Lewis declined to reveal the number of times Sanchez was shot, nor where the bullets hit the victim, saying the investigation is continuing. Investigators said earlier they do not consider the murder to be gang-related, and Sanchez was not thought to be involved in gang activity.