Murder charge against SLO woman dismissed again

August 7, 2021

By JOSH FRIEDMAN

A judge on Thursday dismissed a murder charge for the second time in the case of a San Luis Obispo woman who shot her husband at point-blank range.

On July 16, 2020, Skylar Marshall shot her 35-year-old husband, Alexander Hagist, inside their unit at the Peachwood Apartments on Chorro Street. Hagist suffered a single gunshot wound to the head and later succumbed to his injuries.

Marshall and Hagist had been married for about a year prior to the husband’s death.

At the conclusion of a preliminary hearing in April, San Luis Obispo County Superior Judge Jesse Marino said it was an incredible stretch for prosecutors to have charged Marshall with murder, an offense that involves malice and intent. Marino said Marshall’s actions were obviously reckless, but evidence presented indicated Marshall had a reasonable expectation that the gun was not loaded.

Marino ordered the prosecution to file a new complaint for felony involuntary manslaughter. However, prosecutors refiled a murder charge.

On Thursday, Judge Michael Duffy ruled in agreement with Marino, again dismissing the murder charge against Marshall. Now, the prosecution can again choose between refiling a murder charge or charging Marshall with involuntary manslaughter.

During the preliminary hearing in April, four detectives testified Marshall and Hagist were messing around with a newly purchased pistol on a living room couch after Hagist retrieved it from a bedroom.

Marshall told investigators she though the firearm was unloaded. Marshall put the barrel of the gun to her husband’s forehead, and when he stared back at her without any reaction, she pulled the trigger, the woman said.

Police Sgt. Caleb Kemp testified he examined the apartment after the shooting and saw Hagist sitting on the living room couch with a gunshot wound to the middle of his forehead and that the shot was fired from close range.

Marshall, who was crying and hyperventilating in disbelief, told Kemp the couple was playing with the gun, and she did not know it was loaded. Marshall appeared genuinely concerned about Hagist’s fate, Kemp said.

While being interviewed at the police station a couple hours after the shooting, Marshall told Sgt. Evan Stradley, in the weeks since purchasing the gun, they would sometimes jokingly point it at each other.

Eventually, Marshall admitted the couple had a slight disagreement while Hagist had the gun out, and she picked up the firearm and pointed it at his forehead, Stradley testified.

Marshall was expecting a reaction from Hagist. When he simply stared back, she pulled the trigger to emphasize her feelings about the disagreement. Marshall said Hagist and she made eye contact before she pulled the trigger.


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charles805

There is no such thing as an accidental headshot. AND if it was accidental, the benefit of doubt has to go against the shooter. You NEVER point a loaded firearm at someone’s head.


slo-to-load

There are two possibilities here:

1. She intentionally killed her husband.

2. She was so incredibly stupid and reckless that she never should have been allowed to possess a deadly weapon.


Despite having an incredibly inconsistent and unbelievable story (“We were just playing around… wait no we were arguing… I pulled the trigger to emphasize my feelings about the disagreement..”),

somehow she was able to convince the courts that it is #2. If true, this is yet another data point to show there are plenty of people who CAN legally possess firearms.but who completely lack the intelligence, responsibility, and care to be entrusted to safely do so. The first thing any gun safety class teaches is that you never point a gun at someone unless you intend to kill them, so murder seems like an entirely appropriate charge. As a society we require training and certification for driving a car and pretty much any other activity that can prove lethal, but apparently we think it is fine to let any idiot own a gun without requiring any training whatsoever….


copperhead

Too stupid to own a gun should be a disqualifying factor for gun ownership.


Adam Trask

The chances of being killed accidentally rise exponentially in households where there is at least one gun. Stupid, stupid, stupid.


Francesca Bolognini

Always entertained by the trolling on this site. Apparently you got voted down by people who don’t like the very clear statistics that disprove their own theories. I get a lot of that too.


jdchem

Ladies and gentlemen, please do not comment while intoxicated.


IDBOUND

Unfortunatley it is a case of murder ,I don’t know who she knows that is pulling these judges strings. Let the charge of murder go to a jury trial if the jurors find no evidence of murder so be it .If jury finds evidence of lesser charge so be that also. They were high on drugs or maybe he just was and wouldn’t share the last amount of heroin/meth with her so they were arguing over drugs …Usually when a young girl/woman is with an older guy its for money or drugs…This couple was not rich, her parents might be rich and her older husband wanted her families money.This couple made some bad choices obtaining the gun to protect themselves during drug sales was a big mistake .They did not buy the gun to go hunting .If I read correctly in the past articles he was an ex felon not allowed to own a gun ..was the gun legally owned or bought on the streets ? Or does she not have felonies and gun was legally bought using her name …When a couple points a gun at each other in the short time they own it , they are either practicing how to shoot the other or the drugs have driven a wedge of control into their relationship .When one person in a relationship makes it a mission to get the other half strung out on drugs in order to keep a leash on them , that’s not love that is pure evil


Freethebud

Those are the most stupid and mean things to say. Put your crazy back into the bag.


Francesca Bolognini

So, guilt by assumption, much? The only factor clearly at work in this account is guilt by stupidity. Both victim and perp. I see something very Darwinian in this dark tale.


But I would never want the likes of you sitting on a jury looking into the truth about me. Just the facts, please.


paragon

Stupidity of the victim? Only if you consider he was stupid to marry a woman who would later execute him in cold blood. Her “story” about what happened is exactly that, a story. It is a narrative that defies belief that was very clearly spun with the obvious motive of allowing her to get away with murder. Citing her tears as evidence of her truthfulness is a laugh. How many emotional tearful spouses have we seen that later turned out to be as guilty as sin for their partner’s demise?