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Woman sentenced for involuntary manslaughter of her husband 

Skylar Marshall

Skylar Marie Marshall, 20.

‘Case illustrates the devastating effects of irresponsible gun use’ says district attorney

San Luis Obispo County District Attorney Dan Dow announced this week that Skylar Marie Marshall, 20, who grew up in Paso Robles, has been sentenced for the death of Alexander Hagist who was killed when Marshall shot him on July 16, 2020, at the couple’s home on Chorro Street in San Luis Obispo.

At the preliminary hearing held on April 29, 2021, evidence was presented that Marshall pointed a loaded semi-automatic handgun at the forehead of Hagist and pulled the trigger, killing him. Marshall told San Luis Obispo Police officers she thought the gun was unloaded but was not “one hundred percent” sure when she pulled the trigger because she did not check the gun or magazine. Testimony at the hearing revealed that Marshall had experience handling, loading, and shooting the gun and had previously been warned by her roommate and Hagist not to point the gun at others and to treat any gun as though it is loaded.

The DA initially charged Marshall with murder; however, a Judge dismissed the murder charge which only allowed the lesser charge of involuntary manslaughter. On Dec. 28, 2022, Marshall entered a plea of no contest to the sole remaining charge of manslaughter and admitted that she used a handgun in the crime.

A no-contest plea is treated the same as a guilty plea and the court found Marshall guilty of involuntary manslaughter with a gun. Marshall entered what is called an ‘open plea,’ that is a plea without any agreement by the prosecutor as to what the sentence will be. At the time of the no-contest plea, Judge Jacquelyn H. Duffy indicated that she would sentence Marshall to no more than 7 years. The maximum sentence allowed for the conviction was 14 years.

At today’s sentencing hearing Superior Court Judge Jacquelyn H. Duffy imposed a sentence of seven years but ordered that the sentence be ‘split’ in two parts; two years to be served in county jail custody, followed by five years of community supervision pursuant to Proposition 47. Community supervision is a portion of a felony sentence where the sentenced person lives in the community and is being supervised by the county probation department. If the supervised individual violates the terms of their community supervision, they can be returned to custody in the county jail. In 2014, Proposition 47 created this type of sentence for qualifying individuals who were previously sentenced to state prison.

Deputy District Attorney Crystal Seiler argued for Marshall to serve the entire seven-year sentence in custody, or in the event the court was to ‘split’ the sentence that Marshall serve five years in custody followed by two years of mandatory supervision. In a pre-sentence report, the San Luis Obispo County Probation Department recommended Marshall serve seven years custody.

“Our hearts go out to the family and friends of Alex for their loss in this senseless and completely avoidable tragedy,” said Dow. “This case illustrates the devastating effects of irresponsible gun use. It is very simple, if you accept the responsibility of handling a firearm, you assume the legal and moral obligation to exercise the highest degree of care in its use.”

At the sentencing hearing, members of Alexander Hagist’s family provided statements to the court describing him as a very loved and loving son, brother, and father and the horrible impact of his death. Alex was described as “an amazing father with the heart of a lion, infectious positive upbeat personality, and beacon of light”.


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