An illegal alien accused of running down a disabled Waltham man in a crosswalk the day before Thanksgiving, then fleeing the scene, may be deported to Guatemala a free woman without ever standing trial.
Federal officials, the Middlesex District Attorney’s Office and the victim’s heartbroken parents are calling the impending release of Blanca Contreras a nightmare.
They all say a federal immigration judge in Boston should not have approved the 32-year-old woman’s deportation last week until she faced a jury on motor vehicle homicide, speeding, hit-and-run and seven other offenses. “I want him to explain to me how he can let someone that’s facing criminal charges just go home. I’d like to see her stand trial,” said Thomas Coxall, father of Scott Coxall, 39, who authorities say was hit by a Nissan Pathfinder driven by Contreras Nov. 23 at up to 60 mph in a 30-mph zone.
Scott Coxall died a week later, never having regained consciousness.
Contreras’ defense lawyer, Gerard Walsh, claims his client wasn’t the one behind the wheel.
Thomas Coxall said his son — who was disabled — was a great kid who loved the world and wouldn’t hurt anybody. “It’s an awful way for him to have to end his life,” the dad told the Herald yesterday.
Now even the Department of Homeland Security is protesting the deportation.
“The U.S. government objected and has now reserved the right to appeal this decision to the Board of Immigration Appeals,” said Homeland Sec-urity spokesman Ross Feinstein.
Middlesex District Attorney Gerard Leone Jr. is equally outraged.
“It remains our full intention to have the defendant tried, convicted and sentenced in a Mass-achusetts criminal court, before she is ever allowed to depart the U.S,” Leone spokeswoman Jessica Pastore said.
Contreras posted $50,000 cash bail three days after she was arrested Dec. 2, when a cousin showed up with the money. She was then scooped up by federal immigration officials, who are holding her in South Bay House of Correction in Boston.
Last Tuesday, Boston Immi-gration Court Judge Steven F. Day ruled that Contreras should be deported within weeks. The judge could not be reached for comment yesterday.
Justice Department’s Exec-utive Office of Immigration Review spokeswoman Susan Eastwood said immigration judge decisions are not public documents.
A Homeland Security official with knowledge of the case said the only reason Contreras could skip town is because she posted bail and the feds had only two options — deport her or set her free. The district attorney’s office said it did what it could.
“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 said, adding they intend to ask a Waltham District Court judge to keep her behind bars on the original charges, only without bail.
If they fail, officials say Contreras soon will be escorted to a plane in handcuffs, but they will be taken off once she boards the Guatemala-bound plane.
And she’ll arrive back in her native country a free woman.
By Christine McConville, Boston Herald
In: Regional News
Tags: borders, sanctuary city, la raza, napolitano, deval patrick
Location: Boston, Massachusetts, United States (load item map)
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