A man suspected of stabbing to death his girlfriend in Nipomo last week was released from custody on Friday and then re-arrested on site because charges were not filed against him on time.
Julio Cesar Alonso, 24, was arrested on suspicion of a single count of murder at 5:50 p.m. Wednesday and booked into San Luis Obispo County Jail after he was questioned about the stabbing of his 24-year-old girlfriend, Paulina Ramirez-Diaz. State law requires that someone who is booked into jail must appear before a judge within 48 hours after his arrest, excluding Sundays and holidays.
The District Attorney’s Office has yet to file charges against Alonso, and he has not yet been arraigned in court. In an arraignment, the defendant is read the specific charges against him and has an opportunity to enter a plea.
The DA’s Office has not said why charges have not yet been filed, or whether there is enough evidence to proceed with a case. Assistant District Attorney Lee Cunningham said in an email on Saturday that a filing decision would be made after an autopsy on Monday and that the arraignment would probably be Tuesday or Wednesday.
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“As with all homicide cases, this is a complicated investigation with very exacting time constraints. As a result, the case wasn’t ready to go forward on arraignment,” said Tony Cipolla, public information officer for the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Office. “Alonso was released from custody and re-arrested on site” June 2 at 5:02 p.m, Cipolla said, adding that Alonso had not left the jail facility.
Such action is not uncommon, Cipolla said, noting that it is used in cases “where there’s a significant risk to public safety.” It occurs about once every other month, he said, and the re-arrest must be approved by a commander or above.
Alsonso was deported in August, but the Sheriff’s Office said his immigration status did not allow them to hold him without charges.
Alonso has been sentenced to prison before.
In 2014, he began serving a 4-year sentence for evading or attempting to evade a peace officer while driving recklessly, possession of a controlled substance, burglary in the second degree, vandalism, and driving under the influence causing bodily harm, all crimes that he was convicted of in Santa Barbara County.
He was released on parole in December 2015 and discharged from parole in 2016.