A judge Thursday sentenced the local man accused of killing Hollister’s Lisa Hall in 2017 to five years in prison as part of a plea deal arranged by the district attorney’s office.
Visiting Judge Lee Felice sentenced Michael Simas, age 34, to a five-year prison sentence. That came after a jury trial had been vacated when the prosecution and his attorney Harry Damkar came to a deal on a no-contest plea, according to records.
He faced 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.
Simas had credit for time served that amounted to 1,180 days. That means he has less than two years left in his sentence, while it’s possible he could be released earlier than that. He will face up to three years of parole when released.
The sentencing from Felice came after emotionally packed statements from Hall’s family members.
Some family members confronted Hooper outside the courtroom and questioned the plea deal. One family member called the penalty a “slap on the wrist.”
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. Last month, Hooper agreed to a plea deal in the case to corporal injury and the lesser firearm count.
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 originally filed the additional charge of using a firearm while committing a felony, which included an additional penalty of up to 10 years in prison.
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.
Look back for the full story and video from the sentence hearing.