A San Benito County jury found a local suspect guilty last week in the December 2020 murder of 32-year-old Christopher Jacobs, according to authorities.
The Hollister Police Department, whose officers responded to and investigated the violent death, praised the Feb. 23 verdict.
“With the receipt of the guilty verdict, the Jacobs family and those affected are finally provided justice and are able to now, hopefully, bring a sense of closure to this chapter of their lives,” the Hollister Police Department said in a statement. “The Jacobs family has tragically lost the presence of a bright young man with a great deal of promise who was taken too soon. The Jacobs family has now been provided the moment they have awaited since the loss of Christopher. The Jacobs family has held themselves with grace and respect that the justice system would ultimately prevail, and it did.”
On Dec. 30, 2020, fire and police personnel responded to a call reporting a vehicle collision off Monterey Street near downtown Hollister. The first responders located the driver of the vehicle, identified as Jacobs, who was still in the car and unresponsive, according to authorities.
Jacobs was transported to the hospital, but later died from his injuries, police said.
During the investigation, officers learned that Jacobs was the victim of a stabbing just before the vehicle collision, police said. Detectives pieced together the circumstances of the crime by reviewing downtown cameras, which captured parts of the incident and helped investigators identify the suspect as Manuel Campa.
After being stabbed, Jacobs drove away from the assailant and only traveled a few blocks before crashing his vehicle, authorities said.
Campa was charged with murder, and the case was tried by San Benito County Deputy District Attorney Joel Buckingham.
On Feb. 23, following a trial at the San Benito County Courthouse, a jury returned with a guilty verdict against Campa in relation to the crimes of Dec. 30, 2020.
Hollister Police added that the local department and the DA’s office appreciate the San Benito County Sheriff’s Office, United Narcotics Enforcement Team, California Department of Justice and Santa Clara County Medical Examiner’s Office for helping to ensure the suspect was found guilty.