A man charged with killing his girlfriend in Lompoc pleaded not guilty and denied all special allegations at the Santa Maria Superior Court on Monday.
William Manuel Delgado is accused of murdering Ranae Marie Ronquillo, who officials said was the defendant's girlfriend. He also faces a special allegation of using a knife to kill Ronquillo. The incident was Lompoc's first homicide of the year.
Delgado will be returning to court June 5 to set a preliminary hearing date, having waived time through Aug. 18 for a speedy preliminary hearing. Attorneys anticipate holding that hearing in June.
Around 1:19 a.m. Jan. 6, authorities responded to a call from a man who informed officials that his mother was injured and not breathing. When officials arrived at the residence in the 100 block of South C Street, they found a woman, facedown, with serious injuries to her face. Ronquillo was pronounced dead at the scene.
Delgado was reportedly seen driving near Ronquillo's residence around 2:27 a.m., while officials still were on scene. He was stopped and taken into custody, and was charged with murder by the District Attorney's Office about four days after the incident.
Officers learned the suspect was Ronquillo's boyfriend and was on probation from Riverside County but is listed with an address in Lompoc.
Delgado was convicted in 2014 in Riverside County of felony domestic violence involving Ronquillo, according to the Santa Barbara County District Attorney's Office, and served a prison term for the offense. He also was convicted in 2008 in the same county for a felony offense of discharging a firearm with gross negligence.
Addison Steele is representing Delgado, and Deputy District Attorney Anne Nudson is prosecuting the case.