In the months since he was deported in August, a Nipomo man accused of stabbing his girlfriend to death somehow found his way back across the border from Mexico and returned to the Central Coast, immigration officials confirmed Friday.
Julio Cesar Alonso, 24, is suspected of killing his girlfriend, 24-year-old Paulina Ramirez-Diaz, at about 3 a.m. Wednesday at the Nipomo home they shared with other adults in the 600 block of Pomeroy Road.
He was expelled from the United States by an immigration judge following formal proceedings last summer.
ICE officials were alerted to Alonso’s citizenship status in December 2015 while he was serving a prison sentence related to a conviction in another case. After the judge ordered his removal from the U.S. in immigration proceedings in August 2016, Alonso was “deported to Mexico that same day.”
ICE officials said they have no record of Alonso’s presence in the United States since he was deported, meaning sometime after August, he illegally crossed the border and made his way back to the Central Coast.
I did commit some crimes. I wasn’t thinking about my consequence. I didn’t think it would come all the way to this. I did get incarcerated and I did serve my time for everything I did. I don’t see why I’m over here. I paid my debt to society.
Julio Cesar Alonso, murder suspect (from August 2016 Desert Sun newspaper article on his deportation)
More is known about Alonso’s story than might be expected because he was the subject of an in-depth article on immigrant deportations by reporter Gustavo Solis published Aug. 10, 2016, by The Desert Sun in Palm Springs.
According to The Desert Sun, Alonso had lived in the U.S. for 16 years, growing up in Santa Maria, where he spent his teen years “in and out of juvenile centers.”
He worked in a restaurant, getting the job by using someone else’s Social Security number, according to the story. He also didn’t have a driver’s license and one day was pulled over and cited. When Alonso refused to go to classes to get his license, a warrant was issued for his arrest.
He told Solis that he spent two years in prison on a parole violation, “which Alonso claims he received after being arrested for driving without a license.” He then spent eight months in a detention center leading up to his deportation. It’s unclear what crime or crimes he may have committed to receive parole in the first place.
The article goes on to tell the story of his first day in Mexico, where he was left penniless with only a sack to carry some personal belongings.
A video accompanying the story shows Alonso speaking in English, wearing sweatpants, a white T-shirt and a beanie cap.
“I did commit some crimes,” Alonso told Solis. “I wasn’t thinking about my consequence. I didn’t think it would come all the way to this. I did get incarcerated and I did serve my time for everything I did. I don’t see why I’m over here. I paid my debt to society.”
Alonso’s son, who was 4 as of August, lived in Santa Maria with his girlfriend, both of whom are U.S. citizens, according to the article. The girlfriend is unidentified.
“Alonso is unlikely to come back into the U.S. anytime soon,” Solis wrote. “At least legally.”
At the time, Alonso had two options, Solis said: “Start a new life in Mexico or try to cross illegally and face stricter punishment.”
At least on that day in August, Alonso seemed resigned to his fate.
“I’m going to try to make a life here, get a job and an apartment, and have my son be able to visit,” he said.
Sheriff’s spokesman Tony Cipolla said ICE has lodged an immigration detainer against Alonso, meaning that the federal agency will review his citizenship status upon his release, after his case is finished and any punishment has been served.
ICE officials are not involved in the prosecution of the homicide, which would take place in San Luis Obispo Superior Court.
Alonso has not yet been arraigned, according to court documents. He is being held at San Luis Obispo County Jail. No bail amount is listed for Alonso on the County Jail website’s “Who’s in Custody?” page.
Assistant District Attorney Lee Cunningham couldn’t immediately be reached for comment about whether the prosecution would file a “no bail” request.
The homicide is the first in San Luis Obispo County this year.