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Hollister
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June 23, 2021

Courts: Murder suspects’ preliminary hearings approach

Arrest warrant issued for woman who allegedly refused to wear mask

Murder suspect Manuel Campa, who is accused of killing a Hollister man Dec. 30, is scheduled to appear for a preliminary hearing at San Benito County Courthouse in June.

Campa, 22, is charged with felony murder in relation to the stabbing death of Christopher Jacobs, according to authorities. Jacobs was found Dec. 30 behind the steering wheel of his 2014 Mercedes Benz sedan with a chest injury. He had been involved in a traffic accident, and investigators determined the chest injury was not consistent with a collision.

Manuel Campa

Further investigation—including a review of downtown Hollister camera footage—led police to arrest Campa as a murder suspect, police said. He was arrested Jan. 1 by Hollister Police, and he remains in custody at the county jail on $1 million bail.

Campa is scheduled for a “pre-preliminary” hearing June 3 at the downtown Hollister courthouse. His preliminary examination is scheduled for June 11, according to court records.

Martinez, Toney back in court

A man and woman accused of murdering Saul Venegas—who had been missing since November 2020—will soon appear for a preliminary hearing on felony charges, according to authorities.

Jorge Martinez

Jorge Martinez and Crystal Toney were arrested Feb. 10 by San Benito County Sheriff’s deputies, following an investigation into the death of 31-year-old Venegas.

Venegas’ body was found by a passing motorist Jan. 6 off Salinas Grade Road, near the Monterey County line, according to authorities. Investigators determined the death was suspicious, and later identified Martinez and Toney as suspects. The two allegedly worked together to cover up the murder, and transported a vehicle used in the crime to a storage locker in Brea.

Martinez is charged with murder, while Toney is charged with being an accessory after the fact, according to authorities. Both suspects pleaded not guilty to the crimes at a hearing in February at the San Benito County Courthouse.

Crystal Toney

Both suspects are scheduled for a June 1 court date to set their preliminary hearing dates, according to court records. 

Warrant out for yoga studio owner

San Benito County authorities have issued an arrest warrant for a local business owner who was arrested after refusing to leave a county supervisors meeting in December.

A Superior Court judge issued a bench warrant for Courtney Nielsen Evans after she failed to appear for a March 30 hearing on two misdemeanor charges of refusing to leave a business and resisting or obstructing an officer.

Evans was arrested by sheriff’s deputies during a supervisors meeting at the county admin building Dec. 15, 2020, according to authorities. She was arrested after she refused to wear a face mask in accordance with state and local mandates requiring face coverings at the supervisors meetings.

She was released from custody the same day, shortly after she was arrested.

Evans is the founder and owner of Kamal Yoga Studio on McCray Street in Hollister. Evans did not return a phone call to the yoga studio requesting comment.

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