William Manuel Delgado


Contributed photo

A man accused of killing his girlfriend in Lompoc on Jan. 6 marking the city's first homicide of the year, will finally have his preliminary hearing almost a year after the alleged incident. 

William Delgado, 43, faces one count of murder of Ranae Marie Ronquillo, whom officials said was Delgado's girlfriend. Delgado also faces a special allegation of using a knife to kill Ronquillo.

Delgado pleaded not guilty and denied all special allegations in April. 

Delgado is set to return to Department 7 on Nov. 27 for an additional preliminary hearing setting before his preliminary hearing tentatively begins Jan. 12, according to the Santa Barbara County District Attorney's Office.

Delgado was arrested by the Lompoc Police during the early morning hours of Jan. 7, after officials received a call from a man stating that his mother was injured and not breathing. 

When officers arrived at the residence in the 100 block of South C Street shortly after 1:20 a.m., they found Ronquillo, facedown, with major injuries to her face. Ronquillo was reportedly not breathing and was pronounced dead at the scene. 

Delgado was reportedly seen driving near the victim's residence around 2:27 a.m. while officials were still on scene. He was stopped without further incident and taken into custody. 

The Santa Barbara County District Attorney's Office filed charges against Delgado three days later. 

Officers learned that Delgado, at the time, was on probation through Post Release Community Supervision. While on probation out of Riverside County, Delgado's address is listed as being in Lompoc, according to his felony complaint sheet. 

His complaint sheet also includes the fact Delgado had prior felony convictions in 2008 and 2014.

Get news headlines sent daily to your inbox

In October 2008, Delgado was convicted for discharging a firearm with gross negligence. 

In November 2014, Delgado was convicted of felony domestic violence involving Ronquillo, and served a prison term for the offense, according to the District Attorney's Office. 

Ronquillo's death was the first of multiple felony crimes that allegedly stemmed from domestic violence and resulted in homicides. Just three months later, in April, Elyse Erwin was reportedly murdered by her ex-boyfriend Jorge Fernandez Tovar. In August, Santa Maria resident Natalia Morozova was reportedly murdered by her ex-husband Konstantin Morozov, who kidnapped their child and escaped to the Los Angeles County area before being fatally shot by officers. 

Deputy District Attorney Anne Nudson is prosecuting Delgado's case, with attorney S.E. Ballard representing Delgado.

Gina Kim covers crime and courts for Santa Maria Times. Follow her on Twitter @gina_k210