The Hollister man accused of killing local woman Lisa Hall in August — who now faces voluntary manslaughter charges instead of homicide — is next due in court March 15 for pre-trial proceedings.
Michael Simas, age 33 when arrested Aug. 9, faces charges from San Benito County District Attorney Candice Hooper 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 face three to 11 years in prison as opposed to a potential life sentence. He faces an additional charge of using a firearm while committing a felony, which includes a penalty of up to 10 years in prison.
Simas is set for a preliminary conference at 9 a.m. March 15, followed by a preliminary hearing March 21. At a preliminary hearing, a judge decides of there is enough evidence for a trial.
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.
According to the police statement released after the arrest:
On Aug. 9, police arrested Simas for his suspected involvement in the killing of Hall, age 40.
After her death, Simas agreed to meet with police detectives and answer questions as to how she was shot and killed on Aug. 8. He arrived at the police department along with his attorney.
Simas provided a statement and advised the shooting was accidental and had occurred in his trailer in the unincorporated area of the county on Orchard Road. He also advised detectives where he had disposed of the firearm used in the shooting.
Hollister police detectives recovered the handgun allegedly used in this shooting along Fairview Road. Police Personnel have also seized the trailer that had been moved to Hanford by Simas.
A search warrant had been executed in Hanford yesterday by Hollister Police, UNET Agents and with the assistance of Hanford Police Department. Items seized during that search warrant resulted in further evidence pointing toward Simas’ involvement.