DeSantis rails against Biden border polices, former DA over stabbing death of married couple

Jean R. Macean, a Hatian citizen, allegedly stabbed Terry Aultman, 48, and Brenda Aultman, 55, in Daytona Beach multiple times

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Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis on Wednesday said President Biden's handling of the border and soft-on-crime prosecutorial policies resulted in the stabbing death of a couple earlier this month by an undocumented immigrant with a previous drug-related arrest.

Jean R. Macean, a citizen of Haiti, faces two first-degree murder counts for the killings of Terry Aultman, 48, and Brenda Aultman, 55, who were found dead in Daytona Beach, where they were celebrating Bike Week in early March. 

Macean is being held without bond. The Aultmans were riding their bicycles in the early morning hours of March 6 when they were stabbed multiple times. At the time, Daytona Beach Police Chief Jakari Young said it was one of the "most vicious and gruesome incidents that I’ve witnessed in my 20 years."

Macean was previously arrested in Orange County in 2019 on multiple drug-related charges that were eventually dropped by then-State Attorney for the Ninth Judicial Circuit, Aramis Ayala, who oversaw prosecutions in Orange and Osceola counties.

FLORIDA COUPLE FOUND DEAD 'MOST VICIOUS' CRIME POLICE CHIEF HAS SEEN IN 20 YEARS: 'DERANGED'

U.S. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Orlando, Florida, U.S. February 24, 2022. On Wednesday, DeSantis blamed President Biden's handling of the border and soft-on-crime policies for the death of a Florida married couple by a Hatian citizen.

U.S. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Orlando, Florida, U.S. February 24, 2022. On Wednesday, DeSantis blamed President Biden's handling of the border and soft-on-crime policies for the death of a Florida married couple by a Hatian citizen. (REUTERS/Octavio Jones)

"Floridians should not be subject to the reckless open border policies that the Biden Administration is imposing on this country," DeSantis said in a statement. "These policies are deadly — we also need answers as to why the State Attorney’s Office dropped charges against the defendant."

Ayala, who is running for Florida attorney general as a Democrat, released a statement to Fox News saying DeSantis and State Attorney General Ashley Moody don't "have the slightest idea of how to keep our communities safe, which explains why violent crime and murders have increased under their watch."

"Even if prosecuted for a low level drug offense, Jean R. Macean would have still been free at the time he committed these heinous murders, which is why our entire crime strategy can't rest on prosecutions alone. We need first and foremost a strong Attorney General who understands how to coordinate all our resources, including long-term drug treatment and ensuring that when necessary, violent offenders are held for immigration officials," Ayala said. "

"A strong Attorney General can help bridge these gaps but instead we've had an Attorney General who has spent the past four years being the Governor's lawyer instead of the people's lawyer, and sitting by silently as he consolidates power like a dictator," she added. "The Governor knows I'll fight back, which is why I've been a candidate less than a month and he's already launching baseless attacks. Ashley Moody is once again acting like the Governor's puppet instead of our attorney. The job of the Attorney General is to be the people's voice and right now we the people can't hear Ashley Moody." 

In September 2021, the Biden administration granted an 18-month Temporary Protected Status order to Haitian immigrants living in the U.S., DeSantis said, which allowed Macean to stay in the country. The move was a reversal of a Trump-era policy. 

At the time, the administration cited security concerns, poverty and human rights abuses in the Caribbean nation. TPS protects nationals of designated countries living in the U.S. from potential deportation if they are eligible and also allows them to apply for work permits, as well as giving them the freedom to travel. 

Haiti was initially designated for TPP following a devastating 2010 earthquake. The order was extended multiple times. 

The program has been criticized by some as protecting those in the U.S. illegally and lasting well beyond the immediate time period of an initial emergency or crisis.

It was unclear when Lacean arrived in the U.S.

In September 2021, DeSantis, a Republican, signed an executive order declaring the "Biden Border Crisis." Moody then filed a complaint challenging a Biden policy that allows the release of migrants apprehended at the southern border

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The governor also cited the case of Yery Noel Medina Ulloa, a Honduran citizen living in the United States illegally and allegedly killed a Jacksonville man. Ulloa allegedly posed as an unaccompanied minor before making his way to Florida. 

Fox News' Adam Shaw contributed to this report.