Victim: Charlie Derrington

Drunk Driving Illegal Alien Who Had Been Deported 14 Times Kills Famous Mandolin Maker

Perpetrator: Julio Villasana

Crime Description:

20JUL07, Tennesseean
Mandolin maker’s killer had been deported 14 times, by Shiela Burke

An illegal immigrant convicted in a fatal drunk driving wreck in Nashville had been deported from the U.S. three times and allowed to leave voluntarily on eleven other occasions before the accident that claimed the life of a local guitar maker.

The revelation came during testimony by a federal agent at a sentencing hearing today for Julio Villasana. It was not immediately clear how he managed to re-enter the U.S.

Following the hearing, Villasana, 34, was sentenced to 25 years in prison for killing Charlie Derrington in the Aug. 1, 2006, wreck.

Derrington was a noted mandolin maker for Gibson Musical Instruments who reconstructed bluegrass legend Bill Monroe’s prized instrument. He had been riding his motorcycle on Briley Parkway north of Nashville when he collided with Villasana’s car, which had been traveling in the wrong direction.

Villasana, who at the time lived in Louisville, Ky., fled the scene but was arrested later on suspicion of drunken driving, police said.

Under state law, he will have to serve at least 30 percent of his sentence — or 7 and a half years — before becoming eligible for parole.

Derrington was the production manager of Nashville-based Gibson’s mandolin division. He reassembled Monroe’s favorite 1925 Gibson mandolin after it was smashed to pieces by a burglar in his home. The instrument is now on display at the Country Music Hall of Fame.

The testimony about the deportations was given by an agent from the U.S. Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Other witnesses, including relatives of the victim, made victim impact statements.

Villasana showed indicators of impairment during field sobriety tasks administered by a member of the police department’s DUI Squad. He was taken to General Hospital where a blood sample was drawn for alcohol analysis.

Villasana has no prior arrest history in Nashville. The Explorer had a temporary tag from Indiana. An automated query sent early today to the Immigration Customs Enforcement (ICE) Law Enforcement Support Center in Vermont resulted in a reply that Villasana has apparently been deported from the United States in the past and that there is no record of his legal reentry. ICE is placing a federal hold on Villasana until his immigration status can be verified through fingerprints.

“This sad tragedy helps illustrate why the solution to our country’s immigration dilemma must have its roots in the federal law enforcement system,” Chief Ronal Serpas said. “If the preliminary information is correct, this man made a decision to violate our nation’s immigration laws more than once and travels from state to state. This case points to why the federal government must step up its efforts. Local and state governments must have meaningful federal assistance in confronting the problem of illegal immigrants, particularly those who chose a criminal lifestyle.”


2AUG06, Metro Nashville Police Department
Press Release

20JUL07, The Tennessean
Mandolin maker’s killer had been deported 14 times, by Shiela Burke
Archived at: http://www.tnrip.org/Tennessee_Murders/072007GibsonEmployeeKillerSentanced.htm

21JUL07, The Tennessean
Illegal immigrant sentenced to 25 years in fatal DUI wreck

Charlie Derrington Memorial Fund