Victim: Donna Wilson

Drunk Driving Illegal Alien with 5 Prior DUIs Kills Mt Juliet, TN Couple.

Perpetrator: Garcia Gustavo Reyes

Crime Description:

On June 8, 2006 Donna and Sean Wilson of Mt. Juliet, Tennessee, were killed when drunk driving, illegal alien Garcia Gustavo Reyes crashed head on into their car.

The driver of the Buick, Sean Paul Wilson, 38, was pronounced dead at the scene. His wife, Donna Lynne Wilson, 47, a passenger, died later at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

Lakewood Police Chief Lawrence Lee said that prior to the accident he had pulled Reyes over for erratic driving on Old Hickory Boulevard. Police said they found open containers of alcohol in Reyes' vehicle and his speech was slurred. Reyes drove off during the traffic stop. Lee and another officer said they were not in pursuit of Reyes, but followed him and later came upon the crash that killed Sean Paul Wilson, 38, and his wife, Donna Lynne Wilson, 47.

Reyes had a blood-alcohol content of 0.34 percent, more than four times Tennessee's legal limit.

Since 2001, Reyes had been arrested and convicted no fewer than 20 times in the courts of Nashville. Garcia had been arrested and convicted of multiple DUIs, multiple charges of driving with a revoked license and leaving the scene of an injury accident, theft, assaulting a police officer, and resisting arrest.

Federal officials never flagged Reyes as being in the country illegally until after the wreck.

After the wreck, police had said his name was Gustavo Reyes Garcia, but he told Judge Randall Wyatt that his name is Garcia Reyes.

Reyes plead guilty to two counts of aggravated vehicular homicide, reckless aggravated assault by a motor vehicle and evading arrest with risk to other motorists. He received a 25-year sentence and will have to serve 30 percent of it, or about 7½ years, before he's eligible for parole.

Donna Wilson was on her way to Vanderbilt University Medical Center, hoping to be declared free of the cancer that had invaded her body six years earlier.

"What she thought would be a new day of beginnings was the last day of her life," Heather Steffek said as she sat in a witness seat beside a picture of her parents. "She did make it to Vanderbilt that day, but in the back of an ambulance clinging to her life. And her beloved husband, Sean, he lay dead in their car on Old Hickory Boulevard."

Sean Wilson's brother spoke of his anger at both Reyes and the system that allowed him to be in the country and continue to drink and drive.

"The reason we're here today is because of extremely bad decisions, bad decisions by this illegal immigrant and by our government," Dwight Wilson told the court.

Reyes, who spoke through an interpreter, asked the family for forgiveness, but blamed the judicial system as well.

"I also had six DUIs and I had (some jail time) but they never really punished me, so they're partly responsible," Reyes said.

"Part of the shock of the tragedy is learning there is simply no laws in place at the local or state level to aide deportation of a serial criminal who is an illegal alien," Steffek said. "I'm asking the governor to please support legislation that would remove criminal illegal immigrants from our midst."


8JUN06, Metro Nashville Police Department
Media Release

14JUN06, The Tennessean
Fleeing SUV kills Mt. Juliet couple, police say, by Kate Howard

16JUN06, The Tennessean
Man not deported after 14 arrests- Feds not aware of immigrant’s cases, by Shiela Burke