A decorated Iraq war veteran pleaded not guilty Friday to beating his girlfriend to death in his San Clemente condominium earlier this month.
John Wylie Needham, 25, was arrested and charged after Orange County sheriff's deputies found his girlfriend, 19-year-old Jacqwelyn Joann Villagomez, in his bedroom severely beaten. She died a few hours later.
Needham's family and a large group of other supporters filled one side of the courtroom Friday as they waited most of the day for his arraignment. The proceeding was delayed twice because he had not been transported from the nearby county jail as scheduled by sheriff's deputies.
According to prosecutors, Needham answered the door naked and had to be subdued with a Taser after deputies responded to a report of an argument between Villagomez and another young woman at the upscale condo complex over Labor Day weekend.