Paso Robles woman facing manslaughter charges changes plea to ‘no contest’

Paso Robles woman Sarah Hale was charged in 2018 with the death of a man who was reportedly attempting to stop her from driving while intoxicated, and on Feb. 19 she changed her pleas to “no contest” and will face a maximum sentence of 15 years.

Hale faced charges of felony gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, riving with a blood-alcohol level above .08 percent causing injury, driving under the influence of alcohol causing injury, and leaving the scene of an accident, according to the San Luis Obispo County District Attorney’s Office.

According to the report on the Dec. 28, 2018 incident, Jose Montesguillen was among a group of Hale’s friends attempting to prevent her from driving her vehicle from Santa Maria Brewing Co. in Paso Robles. Montesguillen was thrown from the vehicle according to reports on the incident and died from injuries suffered from hitting the pavement.

Hale has been out on bail since shortly after her arrest, and was reported as regularly attending Alcoholics Anonymous meetings and checking in with her sponsor. Her attorney told the court that she was unaware that anyone was injured at the time of the incident, and the preliminary trial was scheduled for March 27, 2020. Before that hearing occurred, Hale changed her pleas.


According to the DA’s office, there was no agreement between Hale and the prosecution. Sentencing is set for April 6.