IE family frustrated by court delays for man accused of killing Riverside mother at baby shower

Jessica De Nova Image
Friday, February 3, 2023
Family frustrated by delays in Riverside murder trial
"We want some peace of mind." An Inland Empire family has been waiting five years for the trial of the man accused of killing a 37-year-old mother.

JURUPA VALLEY, Calif. (KABC) -- It's been nearly five years since a mother of five was shot and killed at a Riverside baby shower and the heart-wrenching wait for closure continues for her family.

The victim's youngest child, Daisy Romo, says her family needs closure.

"We just want justice. We want some peace of mind, you know, finally move on with our lives because this is honestly holding us down," she said.

It happened in June 2018 at the Riverside Elks Lodge. Thirty-seven-year old Beatrice Ann Romo was at her niece's baby shower with two of her five children. One of them was Daisy.

A fight broke out and Beatrice stepped in to break it up. Then there were gunshots and she was hit in the stomach.

"She was on the floor, trying to calm her down. I'm holding her head and everything. She's basically telling me, 'I'm alright. I'm alright,'" Daisy said.

That was the last time she spoke with her mother.

Her family remembers her as smart, beautiful, sassy, funny and full of life.

The Romo family says the man accused in her death should be a convicted murderer by now. Prosecutors, they say, have surveillance video, the gun used and witnesses. The murder suspect - the victim's own nephew, Abraham Bonilla - is in custody.

Bonilla's last court appearance on Jan. 20 was continued.

It's the latest in a frustrating lineup of motions prolonging the legal battle for this family. Court records show nothing but continuances for this case in 2019 and more in 2020. Then the trial was set for June 2021, only to be reset another 10 times.

Beatrice's husband, Ronnie Leonard Romo, wants answers.

"Everybody keeps passing the buck. We want to know why it's being passed around like that. I understand there's a pandemic, there was a pandemic, but there isn't anymore. What's the excuse now? They were taking vacations. They were taking leaves of absence and I understand everybody has something going on, but so do we. We want answers. We want resolutions. We want peace in our lives," he said.

A Riverside County District Attorney's Office spokesperson told Eyewitness News in an email that they're prepared to begin this trial and pointed to the current backlog of cases in the Riverside County Superior Court.

The Romos stay strong through their faith, finding comfort in each other and honoring their matriarch through their music and the realization of her American dream, Pizza Plugg.

"Let's go make a dream happen for us, the American dream, so that's what my wife wanted. That's why we're here today," Ronnie said.

Bonilla's hearing is continued to April 7. His bail is set at $2,050,000.