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San Benito
February 27, 2024

Simas accepts plea deal of 5 years in prison for Lisa Hall death

The man accused of killing Hollister’s Lisa Hall in 2017 has accepted a plea deal and awaits sentencing on a proposed five-year prison term, according to court records.

A jury trial had been scheduled to start Monday for Michael Simas, age 34. That trial was vacated when the prosecution and his attorney came to a deal on a no-contest plea, according to records.

He is scheduled for sentencing at 9 a.m. March 21 at the San Benito County Courthouse. He faces sentencing for the agreed-upon charges of felony corporal injury to a spouse or cohabitant, which amounts to a four-year term, and using a firearm in a felony for an additional one year penalty, according to records.

Police arrested Simas on Aug. 9, 2017 on suspicion of homicide, but District Attorney Candice Hooper filed lesser charges of voluntary manslaughter and using a firearm in a felony.

Voluntary manslaughter is defined as killing someone upon a sudden quarrel or heat of passion but without malice. If found guilty of voluntary manslaughter, Simas would have faced three to 11 years in prison as opposed to a potential life sentence with a homicide conviction. With the manslaughter allegation, Hooper filed the additional charge of using a firearm while committing a felony, which includes a penalty of up to 10 years in prison.

Simas, represented by attorney Harry Damkar, remains at the San Benito County Jail on $750,000 in bail.

Hall died after being dropped at the local hospital following the shooting. Police arrested Simas and recommended charges of murder and destruction of evidence. After Hall’s death, Simas agreed to meet with police detectives and answer questions as to how she was shot and killed on Aug. 8, 2017. He arrived at the police department with his attorney.

Lisa Hall was age 40 at the time of her death in August 2017.