A state appeals court panel Tuesday upheld an Antelope Valley woman’s conviction for fatally shooting her married boyfriend nearly five years ago.
Ana Rosenda Mancio, also known as Ana Delgado, of Littlerock, was convicted in June 2018 of first-degree murder for the April 28, 2015, slaying of Miguel Romero, 46.
In a 35-page ruling, the three-justice panel from California’s 2nd District Court of Appeal found there was “substantial evidence of Mancio’s motive to kill Romero.”
“Mancio had a strong motive to kill: her lover of four years abruptly spurned her and returned to his wife, while at the same time Edwin (Mancio’s husband of 20 years) learned of the affair. Further, significant evidence implicates Mancio in the planning and commission of the crime,” the panel found.
The justices also concluded that the defendant’s conduct after the murder “also provides significant evidence of her involvement.”
“Mancio quit her job the day of the murder, and she and her daughters fled just hours after the murder, leaving the house in disarray,” according to the ruling. “Mancio abandoned the family horses, livestock and large pets with no provision for their care, taking only the small pug dog.”
Romero was shot five times in the head and once in the wrist while delivering rolls of corn for animals in Littlerock, according to Deputy District Attorney Scott Yang, who called it a “vicious murder.”
The victim’s wife had confronted Mancio and Mancio’s husband about the defendant’s affair with the victim three days before the killing, but the motive for the shooting was not clear, the prosecutor said shortly after Mancio was convicted.
Cellular telephone records indicate that Mancio’s phone was in the vicinity around the time of the crime, and a witness said she saw someone resembling Mancio in a vehicle near the scene of the shooting about 30 minutes before hearing the gunshots, according to the prosecutor.
Romero was found dead inside his Nissan truck by his wife, whom he had asked to find the location online hours earlier, Yang said. She went to look for him after he failed to respond to phone calls and text messages, the prosecutor said.
Mancio subsequently fled the country through Mexico to Guatemala by claiming a family emergency, according to evidence presented in court. Her husband had left the United States three days before the killing, according to the appellate court panel’s ruling.
She was arrested in Orlando, Florida, in July 2017 on a warrant charging her with Romero’s murder after trying to buy a gun that was the same type of gun she had owned in California, where she denied living when she was first interviewed by Orlando police,
Mancio, now 45, was sentenced to 26 years to life in state prison in July 2018.
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