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Released by: District Attorney
For Immediate Release

Delonte Hart Pleads Guilty to Murder and Attempted Murder for Brutal June 2016 Attacks in Santa Rosa

Santa Rosa, CA  –  November 20, 2018  –  District Attorney Jill R. Ravitch announced today that defendant Delonte Anthony Hart, (25) of Baltimore pled guilty to two separate violent stabbing attacks that occurred in downtown Santa Rosa in June, 2016. Delonte Hart pled guilty before Honorable Bradford Demeo to second degree murder for his role in killing Cirak Tesfazgi. Additionally, Mr. Hart pled guilty to the attempted murder of Adam Lucero and admitted to personally inflicting great bodily injury during the unprovoked attack.

“These crimes caused great concern about safety in the downtown area of Santa Rosa, said District Attorney Jill Ravitch. “Thanks to the outstanding investigative work of the Santa Rosa Police Department we were able to resolve this case at an early stage in the proceedings, without traumatizing the survivors further through coming to court to testify.”

The murder charge resulted from the June 26, 2016, unprovoked stabbing of Cirak Tesfazgi, 32, of Santa Rosa, a young man who was sleeping under an awning on Riley Street in downtown Santa Rosa. During the investigation Detectives with the Santa Rosa Police Department collected the murder weapon, an 8 inch Henkel knife and determined it was stolen from a downtown store shortly before the incident. Fingerprints located on the murder weapon would later confirm the identity of Mr. Hart as the attacker. Additionally, the victim’s DNA was later located on Mr. Hart’s shoe.

On June 29, 2006, while officers continued to investigate the homicide, a second attack was committed at the Roxy movie theater. This time Mr. Hart stabbed Adam Lucero, then age 21, of Camarillo, multiple times as he watched a movie. Mr. Hart stabbed the victim in the neck and chest causing significant and life threatening injuries. Fortunately, Mr. Lucero survived. Mr. Hart was quickly apprehended after fleeing the movie theater by Santa Rosa Police Officers. Officers recovered a second 8 inch Hinkle knife Mr. Hart discarded in a garbage can.

Mr. Hart was charged with these brutal crimes back in July 2016. However, Mr. Hart’s case was delayed while his mental competence to stand trial was evaluated. Criminal proceedings were suspended for a time. Mr. Hart was ultimately restored to competence on August 16, 2018 after a court trial held before Honorable H. N. Papadakis. Criminal proceedings were then reinstated.

Today, Mr. Hart took responsibility for the crimes he committed back in 2016. Mr. Hart pled guilty to second degree murder and admitted using a knife during the attack. Additionally, Mr. Hart pled guilty to attempted murder and admitted inflicting great bodily injury and using a knife during this attack as well.

Mr. Hart will be sentenced before Honorable Bradford Demeo on December 13, 2018. It is anticipated that Mr. Hart will be sentenced to 15 years to life for murder and an additional consecutive term of 12 years for attempted murder.

The case was prosecuted by Chief Deputy District Attorney Troye K. Shaffer, Deputy District Attorney Jessica Washington and assisted by District Attorney Investigator Denise Urton. Detectives Joseph Bjornstrom and Mike Akin of the Santa Rosa Police Department headed the investigation.


Contact Information

Joan Croft
Media Coordinator
Office of the District Attorney
County of Sonoma
Contact us by Phone
600 Administration Drive
Room 212 J
Santa Rosa, CA 95403
38.466524, -122.726273