A man charged with murder in the fatal shooting of a 22-year-old Lompoc man in December will appear in court next month to set a date for his preliminary hearing, prosecutors said.
Benito Martinez, 20, appeared in court on Wednesday to set the date, but his case was continued until March 15, Deputy District Attorney Lynmarc Jenkins told the News-Press.
The defendant is charged in a two-count felony complaint with murder, alleging that he “did unlawfully and with malice aforethought murder Victor Deluna, a human being.”
The murder charge includes a special allegation that Mr. Martinez intentionally and personally discharged a handgun in the commission of murder, a serious and violent felony.
The second count charges the defendant with having a concealed, unregistered firearm on his person, and that “the firearm and unexpanded ammunition were in the immediate possession of, and readily accessible to, the defendant.”
The Lompoc Police Department arrested Mr. Martinez on Dec. 10 on suspicion of shooting Victor Deluna the night before in the 600 block of North Fourth St. in Lompoc. He died later from his wounds.
Police responded to the shooting scene on Dec. 9 at approximately 11:25 p.m. When officers arrived, they located the victim on the ground with bullet wounds. Officers began providing life-saving measures until relieved by paramedics.
Lompoc police said the victim was transported to Lompoc Valley Medical Center where he was pronounced dead.
Detectives responded and were able to identify the alleged shooter as Mr. Martinez, according to Lompoc police. He was arrested at the police station in the early morning hours of Dec. 10.
Mr. Martinez remains in custody on $1 million bail, according to the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office.