BOSTON – A woman who was in the U.S. illegally when she allegedly ran over and killed a disabled man in Massachusetts last year could be deported to her native Guatemala without standing trial here.
Scott Coxall, 39, was killed after he was hit by a car driven by Bianca Contreras while crossing the street in downtown Waltham around 6 p.m. Nov. 23, 2011, according to police. Contreras, who police say fled the scene, was slated to stand trial when a federal immigration judge sitting in Boston ruled Tuesday that she should be deported. Federal officials now intend to release Contreras from custody without trying her for motor vehicle homicide, which the victim's father called outrageous.
“I want [the judge] to explain to me how he can let someone that’s facing criminal charges just go home," Thomas Coxall told the Boston Herald. "I’d like to see her stand trial.”
Authorities claim that Contreras was traveling double the speed limit when she struck Coxall.
Both the Department of Homeland Security and the Middlesex district attorney are opposed to the decision, handed down by federal Immigration Court Judge Steven F. Day.
“The U.S. government objected and has now reserved the right to appeal this decision to the Board of Immigration Appeals,” Department of Homeland Security spokesman Ross Feinstein told the Boston Herald.
Middlesex District Attorney Gerard Leone agrees that Contreras should face trial.
“It remains our full intention to have the defendant tried, convicted and sentenced in a Massachusetts criminal court, before she is ever allowed to depart the U.S,” Leone’s spokeswoman Jessica Pastore told the paper.
Contreras was released from jail after posting bail, but was then put in custody by South Bay House of Correction in Boston, where federal immigration officials are holding her.
“A high cash bail of $50,000, coupled with the fact that the defendant was being held in ICE custody ... was sufficient to assure her reappearance before the court,” Pastore added.
She told The Boston Herald that the DA intends to request that a Waltham District Court judge keep Contreras behind bars on the original charges.
If the approval for deportation is not reversed, Contreras will be free as soon as the plane hits the ground in Guatemala.
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