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Local News

Two Adults Also Charged in Santa Maria Fatal Stabbing in September

Two additional men charged in connection with the gang-related killing of a Santa Maria man in September made a brief appearance in Santa Barbara County Superior Court on Friday.

The defendants, Abdu Rai Delgado, 23, and Pedro Mora Santos, 20, are charged with first-degree murder and several special allegations.

They, along with Daniel Montelongo, now 18, were arrested in connection with the Sept. 10 death of  Luis Alberto Castaneira, 18, of Santa Maria.

Santa Maria police officers were dispatched just before 5 p.m. to the 900 block of West McElhaney Avenue, where they found one male victim.

The felony complaint contends the incident involved a home-invasion robbery for the benefit of a criminal street gang. 

Mora Santos also faces a special allegation for use of a deadly weapon, reportedly a knife.

The new defendants also have prior convictions involving serious felony charges, according the amended complaint filed Nov. 15.

During the brief appearance, Judge John McGregor agreed to continue the arraignment hearing to Dec. 8.

Deputy District Attorney Tiffany Dix is prosecuting the case. Delgado was represented by Michael Scott while Jeff Chambliss represented the co-defendant.

Days after the homicide, police arrested Montelongo, who was then 17, in connection with the death.

The Santa Barbara County District Attorney’s Office decided to charge him as an adult.

Montelongo was scheduled to appear on court Friday, but that case was continued until Monday since he wasn’t transported to the Santa Maria Court Complex.

The judge rescheduled the hearing for Monday regarding a request that Montelongo remain in Juvenile Hall instead of being transferred to the Santa Barbara County Jail.

Since his original arrest, Montelongo has turned 18 years old.

The fatal stabbing marked the eighth homicide in the city for 2016, with six of those occurring in the first month of the year.

A double shooting July 4 left a man dead and his brother injured, marking the seventh homicide in the city. 

Another fatal stabbing occurred in early October on Cox Lane, becoming the city's ninth slaying of 2016.

Noozhawk North County editor Janene Scully can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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