On May 3, 2004, Angel Avendano, 4, was killed by a drunk driving illegal alien, Nicolas Serrano-Villagrana, who ran his pickup truck over a curb and into a bus stop. The crash also seriously injured Angel’s mother Eulogia Avendano, 32-and another woman, Nijailia Altitijka Graves who were waiting for a bus. After running over the little boy and two women, he then escaped.
Serrano-Villagrana was found to have a blood-alcohol content of 0.20 percent (2.5 times the legal limit in Nevada) as well as cocaine in his system
At the trial, . Eulogia Avendano cried through her testimony, recounting the little she remembered from the day of the crash. Ms Avendanao stated that she never saw what crashed into the bus stop. "Suddenly I just fell and heard a crash," Avendano said through an interpreter. "I could not move and I wanted to look for my son because I could not see him."
Avendano said she spent 31 days in the hospital after suffering fractures to both feet, but when asked if she still feels pain from the injuries she said, "Yes, my soul hurts."
Serrano-Villagrana was convicted Jan. 11, 2005 in Las Vegas of three counts of felony DUI in the May crash.
Serrano-Villagrana was an illegal alien from Mexico with previous drunk-driving offenses. He should have been deported at the time of his earlier DUI arrests, but was not and remained to cause the death of a child.
As reported in the Las Vegas Review-Journal EDITORIAL: System failure Felony DUI suspect should have been deported long ago.
“Is little Angel Avendano dead because nothing is done to drunken drivers; nothing is done to illegal aliens even when they're caught; and -- worst of all -- nothing is done to illegal aliens who are convicted of driving drunk?
And the answer appears to be -- correct on all three.
Technically, anyone arrested -- even for as supposedly "minor" a crime as drunken driving -- should be asked at the jail for place of birth, and also fingerprinted. If the suspect admits he was born outside the country and can't prove he's here legally, or if the fingerprints show he's lying about who he is, the federal Immigration police are supposed to be called, "and arrange for him to leave the country either voluntarily or under an order of deportation," says a knowledgeable local immigration attorney.
But Serrano-Villagrana's attorney says his client was never deported. Although local police will call INS to take custody of illegal aliens who are charged with felonies, "I've never had one held for INS -- I've never had Immigration called on one of my clients -- for a misdemeanor," no matter what "official policy" is supposed to be, says Serrano-Villagrana's attorney, Philip Singer.
Anyway, when Serrano-Villagrana was arrested for DUI the second time -- processed through the North Las Vegas jail, convicted and fined -- why wasn't he turned over to federal Immigration & Customs Enforcement (formerly INS) and deported?
And can't something be done either to make deportation a more lasting punishment than the proverbial "revolving door" or to come up with some more effective way to get repeat drunken drivers off the roads -- at least repeat drunken drivers who also turn out to be illegal aliens?
Yes, if he's convicted Nicolas Serrano-Villagrana will do jail time, now. At which point he'll be deported.
Try telling little Angel Avendano and his parents that means everything is OK.”