Illegal Immigrant Receives Small Fine Over Deaths of 2 Men
by Shari Dovale
For the majority of the people in this country, if you are responsible for the deaths of two people through careless driving, you will be held liable. You will be booked and you will go to court. You may go to jail.
But not so for Roberto Garza Palacios, 28. Even with a prior criminal record, this native of Guatemala who is here on an expired visa, did not even have to go to court to hear that he was being fined $280 for causing the deaths of Deputy Chief State Fire Marshal Sander Cohen and FBI Special Agent Carlos Wolff in December of last year.
We get the details of the accident from Fox5News:
Deputy Chief State Fire Marshal Cohen was off-duty and driving south on I-270 when he came upon Special Agent Wolff’s personal vehicle disabled in the travel lane. He immediately called the Maryland State Police Rockville Barrack for assistance and blocked the damaged vehicle with his own, while activating his emergency flashers in an attempt to safeguard the scene.
Both Deputy Chief State Fire Marshal Cohen and Special Agent Wolff moved to the shoulder of the fast lane. The investigation showed a southbound 2000 Honda Accord, driven by Garza Palacios, swerved to the left of the stopped vehicles because he was unable to move to the right due to traffic. The Honda struck both men as they stood on the highway shoulder. Both victims were thrown over the jersey wall to the northbound side of I-270.
WND reports on his past history:
Garza Palacios, a native of Guatemala, still faces possible deportation. On May 3, immigration authorities arrested him after the accident and charged him with overstaying a visa that expired in 2009. In 2015, Garza Palacios was arrested in Montgomery County and ICE asked him to be placed on hold, but that request was not honored. Humayun stated that the immigration case is still ongoing.
Garza Palacios pleaded guilty to driving while impaired in 2015. He served a four month stint in jail after smashing windows on 16 cars and lighting a sofa on fire near a construction site
The Washington Post tells us:
Roberto Garza Palacios, 28, did not have to appear in court and did not receive jail time, according to court records and lawyers involved in the case, which ended with the June 25 payment.
Maryland defines manslaughter-by-vehicle as causing the death of another person while driving in a “grossly negligent” manner. Criminally negligent manslaughter by vehicle—a less serious offense—involves killing another person while driving with “criminal negligence.”
The consequences of a vehicular homicide conviction depend on the circumstances. But generally, the possible penalties are:
- Manslaughter-by-vehicle. Manslaughter-by-vehicle is a felony. A conviction generally carries up to ten years in prison and/or a maximum $5,000 in fines. But a defendant with a prior vehicular manslaughter or homicide conviction faces up to 15 years in prison and/or a maximum $10,000 in fines.
- Criminally negligent manslaughter by vehicle. Criminally negligent manslaughter by vehicle is a misdemeanor. Convicted motorists are looking at up to three years in jail and/or a maximum $5,000 in fines. However, a defendant who has a prior vehicular manslaughter or homicide conviction is guilty of a felony and faces up to five years in prison and/or a maximum $10,000 in fines.
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