Sunday, August 8, 2010

Third DWI For Illegal Results In A Nun's Death

The allegeddrunk driver had two previous convictions
for DWI.

Both times, law enforcement officials in Prince William
County, Virginia, turned him over to Immigration and Customs
Enforcement for deportation because he is an illegal
immigrant from Bolivia.

Both times, the ICE officials released him.

When Carlos A. Martinelly Montano, 23, was arrested for
drunken driving the third time, he was charged with
involuntary manslaughter in the death of a Benedictine nun
following the head-on collision near Manassas at Brixton,
Va., August 5.

The accident claimed the life of Sister Denise Mosier, 67,
and seriously injured two other Sisters based at the order's
Richmond convent. They remain hospitalized.

Mr. Montano's history of scrapes with the law over his
drinking and driving reveal a family and community that had
tried as hard as possible to deal with his behavior.

He was sentenced to a year behind bars on his second
conviction, but the judge released him after he served only
20 days. They turned him over to ICE for the second time
and they released him for the second time.

The family had pleaded with him for years to get
professional help for his drinking problem, to no avail.
They had taken cars away from him, but he stole a family
member's car for a spree and wound up in the collision last

The incident has the community up in arms. Anti-illegal
immigration activists are pointing to the shooting of an
Arizona rancher in their protests of this new outrage.

"President Obama And ICE Have Blood On Their Hands," read a
local Virginia newspaper headline.

The figures available tell a story of changes in the federal
government's policies that just don't go far enough.

Of the 292,663 people deported this year, nearly half are
convicted criminals. That compares with 34 percent of the
136,343 turned away from American shores in the entire
period of last year. Both deportations and the perentage of
deportees who have been convicted of crimes are up.

So, why did Montano get to stay after his second conviction?

The chief criteria considered by ICE are if the person to be
deported will likely pose a further threat to the community,
if they will be likely to show up at deportation hearings
and if they have extensive ties to the community. Someone
decided to give Montano the nod based on those reasons.
It's a trade off because guidelines don't call for keeping
non-violent offenders in jail until the time for their
hearing rolls around, according to published reports.

No comments:

Post a Comment