Court continues hearing for driver facing murder charges

Arraignment for Manuel Martinez Vasquez set for July 22.

San Benito County Superior Court visiting Judge Hector Ramon continued the arraignment of Manuel Martinez Vasquez, 23, to July 22 at 9:30 a.m.

According to court documents, Martinez Vasquez is facing charges of murder (PC187(A)), and driving under the influence (VC23153), in the death of Sarah Villar, 32, on June 20. He appeared in court on June 24 via zoom and is in custody at San Benito County Jail without bail. 

Judge Ramon said he was giving the detectives four weeks until the next hearing to allow the police investigation to be completed. 

According to the Hollister Police Department, Martinez Vasquez, a Hollister resident was driving westbound on Sunnyslope Road when he appeared to veer to the right and off the roadway. He then overcorrected to the left, causing the car to swerve into the oncoming lane, hitting Villar and her fiancé Tayler Schimitt, 33, who suffered moderate injuries. Villar was pronounced dead at the scene. 

According to the police report, Martinez Vasquez’s blood alcohol concentration was 0.18% at 6:57 p.m. and 0.20% at 7 p.m. In California it’s illegal to drive with a BAC of 0.08% or greater. 

According to the police report, Martinez Vasquez told an officer he had consumed two 32-ounce beers.


BenitoLink is a nonprofit news website that reports on San Benito County. Our team is working around the clock during this time when accurate information is essential. It is expensive to produce local news and community support is what keeps the news flowing. Please consider supporting BenitoLink, San Benito County’s news.

Noe Magaña

Noe Magaña is BenitoLink Co-Editor and Content Manager. He joined BenitoLink as reporter intern and was soon brought on staff as a BenitoLink reporter. He also experiments with videography and photography. He is a San Benito High School alumnus with a bachelor's in journalism from San Jose State and a Liberal Arts Associate's Degree from Gavilan College. Noe also attended San Jose City College and was the managing editor for the City College Times, the school's newspaper. He was a reporter and later a copy editor for San Jose State's Spartan Daily. He is a USC Center for Health Journalism 2020 California Fellow.