A U.S. District Court judge sentenced Julio Cesar Alonso-Mata, 24, to 27 months in prison after he after pleaded guilty to illegal re-entry after deportation. With good behavior, he could be released in just less than 23 months.
Alonso-Mata was living as an undocumented immigrant in Nipomo after being deported to Mexico from the United States in August 2016. Before returning to the U.S., he told his story to The Desert Sun in an article published Aug. 16. In that story, he discussed growing up in Santa Maria, spending his teen years “in and out of juvenile centers.”
On May 31 of this year, Alonso-Mata was arrested on suspicion of fatally stabbing his girlfriend, Paulina Ramirez-Diaz, in the Nipomo home they shared. Though he was charged with murder, the San Luis Obispo District Attorney’s Office later dismissed that charge, citing insufficient evidence to prosecute the case.
“Given the state of the evidence we have now, we can’t prove it beyond a reasonable doubt,” Assistant District Attorney Lee Cunningham said at the time.
Cunningham said at the time Alonso-Mata remains a person of interest in the death of Ramirez-Diaz.
Immigration Customs Enforcement arrested Alonso-Mata after his release from San Luis Obispo County Jail, and he was taken to the U.S. Penitentiary in Victorville. The Federal Bureau of Prisons website lists Alonso-Mata as in custody at the Los Angeles Metropolitan Detention Center
“We don’t know where he will serve his sentence — that will be at the sole discretion of the United States Bureau of Prisons. Following the completion of his sentence, he will be turned over to immigration authorities, and I would expect him to be deported from the United States at that time,” said Thom Mrozek, spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California.