Bayron Orlando Euceda, an illegal immigrant from Honduras, did not serve a day in prison for sexually assaulting a 13-year-old Houston girl.Juan Quintero, the convicted killer of Houston PD Officer Rodney Johnson, also got treated with kid gloves. The twin photos show the killer at an early court appearance and later when he was cleaned up for trial.
Instead, a Harris County judge sentenced the 21-year-old to eight years deferred adjudication, a form of probation. A sticky note on his plea agreement reads, "Best interest of victim."
"That`s incredible," said Andy Kahan, director of the Houston Mayor`s Crime Victims Office and a former probation officer, after thumbing through Euceda`s court paperwork. "The best interest of the victim would have been to have that guy locked up." [Probation, instead of deportation, By Susan Carroll, Houston Chronicle, November 18, 2008]
The practice of sentencing illegal immigrants to probation attracted sharp criticism after an illegal immigrant from Mexico killed Houston police officer Rodney Johnson.One bit of good news: Cornyn wants investigation into immigrant inmates: Lawmaker`s call for action follows Chronicle`s series on the release of violent criminals who admitted to jailers they were in the U.S. illegally
Juan Quintero, who is serving a life sentence for the murder, had several DWI convictions and was sentenced to deferred adjudication for indecency with a 12-year-old girl in 1999. Quintero was deported but returned to Houston illegally and shot Johnson on Sept. 21, 2006.
Johnson`s widow, Houston police Sgt. Joslyn Johnson, said she hopes for a policy change that would stop illegal immigrants from ending up on probation, saying prison time would be more of a deterrent to coming back to the U.S. illegally.
"They broke the law when they came into the country illegally, and if they`ve committed another crime on top of that, I think they should be automatically deported," she said. "They should not be allowed to stay in the country on probation."
The Texas Republican said on Monday that the Chronicle`s investigation "raised some very serious concerns." He said he requested information from Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials, and was particularly concerned about the finding that suspected illegal immigrants had posted bail and absconded on criminal charges, including murder, aggravated sexual assault of a child and drug trafficking.In addition, the Texas Governor was also displeased to to learn the extent of immigration crime anarchy detailed in the Houston Chronicle series: Perry outraged that criminal immigrants aren`t being deported.
AUSTIN — Gov. Rick Perry demanded Tuesday that the federal government take steps to help state and local officials ensure that unauthorized immigrants who commit crimes in Texas remain in custody until they are deported.
In a strongly worded letter to Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff, Perry said he was "outraged" to learn that many convicted immigrants in Texas jails were released after they completed their jail sentences instead of being deported.
"Texas has spent the last four years investing unprecedented amounts of state resources to secure our border with Mexico. To now learn that criminal aliens who have been jailed are being released back into our communities by federal authorities who have neglected to secure our border is infuriating and unconscionable,`` he said.
Spokeswoman Allison Castle said the governor was reacting, in part, to a series of stories in the Houston Chronicle, reporting how federal immigration officials have allowed scores of violent criminals to be freed despite the inmates` admission to jailers that they were in the United States illegally.
"We knew there was a problem, but we didn`t know the scope and magnitude of it," Castle said. In his letter, Perry noted that some of the released immigrants were later charged with felonies, including capital murder, rape, robbery and child molestation. [Emphasis added]