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  1. #1
    Senior Member
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    Mar 2006
    Santa Clarita Ca

    Serial drunk driver, illegal immigrant arrested 17 times ... =9&screen=
    Serial drunk driver filtered through justice system for years
    By Jared Allen,
    June 23, 2006

    When he was wheelchaired into criminal court just days after police say he drove his SUV head first into a Mt. Juliet couple, killing them both, Gustavo Reyes Garcia looked shaken and sullen — like his world had collapsed in an instant.

    But an extensive review of Garcia’s criminal record in Davidson County, which dates back to 1997, reveals that Garcia, an illegal immigrant, is no stranger to the court system.

    Nor is he a stranger — police say — to driving under the influence, evading arrest or trying to flee the scene of accidents.

    In fact, a close examination of Garcia’s police and court records show a serial drunk driver who often clashed with police — sometimes violently — and who took drastic measures to avoid being pulled over or caught after accidents that resulted in injuries.

    Between early 1997 and a few weeks ago, when he was arrested and charged with two counts of vehicular manslaughter and one count of evading arrest, Garcia was arrested 17 times by Metro Police. At least 13 of those arrests involved driving infractions.

    Over a nine-year period, Garcia’s driving charges included five DUIs, four charges of evading or resisting arrest, 10 charges of driving on either a suspended or revoked license, two charges of leaving the scene of an accident, and one charge of assaulting a Metro Police officer.

    But despite his numerous run-ins with the law, Garcia always ended up back on the street — and invariably behind the wheel.

    Since 2001 — as far back as Davidson County Sheriff’s Office records go — Garcia was placed in the Davidson County Jail 13 different times for a total of 168 days, according to Rick Gentry, a spokesman for the Sheriff’s Office.

    But even in spite of his regular court appearances, the longest jail sentence Garcia served was 58 days, in July 2005, after he pled guilty to driving under the influence and driving with a revoked license.

    “Driving on a suspended or revoked license is a misdemeanor offense,” said Metro Police spokesman Don Aaron. “You’re going to get out of jail soon, generally, on those offenses. And you can be admonished not to get back behind the wheel but, obviously, person after person does just that.”

    “Once we bring a person into the system, it’s up to others to make decisions on the individual’s guilt and what punishment is appropriate,” Aaron said.

    Before the July 2005 incident, most of Garcia’s cases resulted in suspended sentences.

    In August 2001, Garcia was arrested and charged with DUI and leaving the scene of an accident with injuries, a felony. He pled guilty to a lesser offense and was given a jail sentence of 11 months and 29 days by General Sessions Judge Houston Hagar. All but seven days of that sentence were suspended.

    On April 23, 2003, Garcia was again arrested and charged with leaving the scene of an accident with injuries as well as driving on a revoked license. Again, he pled guilty in court to a lesser charge. He was sentenced, again by Hagar, to 45 days in jail. After getting credit for time already served, Garcia walked out of jail on April 29.

    Almost two years later, an incident that police say began with Garcia trying to steal beer from a store ended with him being arrested and charged with DUI, driving on a revoked license, disorderly conduct, resisting arrest and assaulting an officer.

    The case was dismissed for failure to prosecute because Metro officers did not show up for Garcia’s court appearance, District Attorney’s Office spokeswoman Susan Niland said.

    Less than three months after that case was dismissed, Garcia was arrested again for DUI and driving with a revoked license. Less than a year after that, he crashed his vehicle into the sedan driven by Sean and Donna Wilson of Mt. Juliet, who both died that day.

    “This is obviously a tragedy no matter how you look at it. At the same time, this person was arrested multiple times and he did do time within the confines of what the law allows. These habitual offenders are a problem in every state,” Niland said.

    “Every state tries to make their laws more stringent and Tennessee has one of the more stringent laws on DUIs,” Niland said. “But the system can only do what it can.”

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    Copyright 2000-2004, The City Paper LLC.

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  2. #2
    traveler's Avatar
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    Jan 1970

    Illegal Alien criminals

    I sent a copy of this yesterday to Sens Sessions, Kyle, Cornyn, Isackson and Chambliss along with a very uncordial letter to ICE telling them I called these senators about these articles. I don't know what good it will do. If SPP becomes a reality there will be no borders and crap like this will be allowed to roam free with resultant chaos and anarchy.

  3. #3
    MW is offline
    Senior Member MW's Avatar
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    Jun 2006
    North Carolina
    Illegals in our society is like children in a candy store!

    "The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing" ** Edmund Burke**

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  4. #4
    Senior Member steelerbabe's Avatar
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    Jul 2005
    Bethel Park, Pa.
    If you or I had commited the crimes, our butts would be behind bars Where can one renounce their citizenship and become illegal?

  5. #5
    Senior Member Brian503a's Avatar
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    May 2005
    California or ground zero of the invasion
    16,029 ... s_id=52333

    No indictment for Garcia yet

    September 26, 2006

    The criminal case involving the man authorities say is largely responsible for Nashville’s attempt at a new direction in the fight against illegal immigration remains in limbo.

    After being arrested and charged with two counts of vehicular homicide following a June 8 automobile crash that killed a Mt. Juliet Couple, Gustavo Garcia remains behind bars pending an indictment by a Davidson County grand jury.

    Yet three-and-a-half months later, no such indictment has been handed down, even though just last week the grand jury indicted a number of individuals involved in other noteworthy cases, all of whom were arrested after Garcia.

    The Sept. 22 grand jury report lists 70 cases as worthy of “true bills” of criminal indictment.
    Among those is the double murder case of 16-year-old Jose Sosa – also an illegal immigrant – the reckless homicide charge against Fredrick Adams, the first-degree murder case against Martin Zarefoss and the attempted first-degree murder charge against William Williamson.
    Each of those cases drew headlines by at least one Nashville news outlet.

    Both members of the District Attorney’s Office and the Public Defenders Office – which is representing Garcia – said there is no reason to suspect anything is out of sorts with regard to Garcia’s criminal case.

    “There’s all kinds of reasons why something jumps ahead of another,” District Attorney’s Office spokeswoman Susan Niland said Monday.
    “The time frame is still within the balance of what is considered normal or typical for a grand jury indictment,” Niland added.

    The current grand jury will issue its final report on Thursday Sept. 28, at which time it will be dismissed.

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  6. #6
    Senior Member magyart's Avatar
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    Dec 2005
    Columbus, OH
    Was this drunk ever reported to ICE ? If so when ? If not, why not ?

  7. #7
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    Dec 2006
    Quote Originally Posted by magyart
    Was this drunk ever reported to ICE ? If so when ? If not, why not ?
    Good question. They'll wait till he kills someone or a whole American family!

  8. #8
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    Mar 2006
    Santa Clarita Ca
    Male Hispanics responsible for disproportionate number of fatal car crashes
    By Jared Allen,
    December 06, 2006

    As a percentage of Nashville’s population, male Hispanics have been responsible for a greater percentage of fatal traffic accidents this year than any other demographic, police data show.

    Now, recognizing they have a very real problem on their hands, leaders of Nashville’s Hispanic community are launching the first-ever coordinated campaign to educate the Middle Tennessee Latino community about the dangers of drunk driving.

    “Drinking and driving is a problem within the Latino community as within other groups of the community at large,” Conexión Américas Executive Director Jose Gonzalez wrote in a press release announcing the partnering of Conexion, Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), State Farm Insurance, Metro Police, and Hispanic media to begin the awareness campaign.

    But statistics show they may have their work cut out for them.

    While the U.S. Census bureau estimates that Hispanics made up approximately 6.3 percent of Nashville’s population in 2004, police say they were responsible for 17 percent of the fatal car wrecks that have occurred so far in 2006.

    Nashville’s approximately 93 percent of people of other races and ethnic groups combined, were responsible for the other 83 percent of this year’s fatal traffic accidents.

    As of the end of last week, there have been 79 fatal traffic accidents this year, resulting in the deaths of 89 persons, police said.

    Since the summer, Nashville’s Hispanic leaders have weathered a tempest caused by a number of deadly, high- profile accidents police say came at the hands of Latinos, three quarters of whom were allegedly drunk, and some who have been identified as illegal immigrants.

    “As a cultural group, Hispanics are responsible for more fatal accidents then they are entitled to... based on their percentage of the population,” said Metro Police Sgt. William Keeter, supervisor of traffic analysis, hit and runs and fatal crash investigations.

    From Gustavo Garcia – arrested and charged in June for DUI and the vehicular homicide of a Mt. Juliet couple – to Julio Villasana – indicted last week on charges of DUI and driving head-first into a motorcycle ridden by Gibson Guitar’s Charlie Derrington, killing him – news of the arrests of multiple Hispanics on drunk driving and vehicular homicides has created a firestorm in Nashville.

    Not only did the issue become a part of the governor’s race, it prompted Nashville’s top three law enforcement officers to team up and ask the federal government for the authority to begin its own deportation proceedings on illegal aliens being booked into the Nashville jail.

    Last week, Hispanic leaders decided enough was enough, and announced that they have teamed up with MADD and the police to begin educating Latinos about drunk driving.

    The problem the Hispanic community has run into is a lack of awareness about the hazards of drunk driving, program organizers said.

    “There’s a problem with drunk driving in this community,” said Laura Dial, MADD Tennessee’s executive director.
    “We’re not reaching out to a segment of our community, and that’s the Spanish-speaking segment.”

    The immigration debate has cast a spotlight on a number of fatal car accidents involving Latinos, Dial said.

    “But I could rattle off a list of other crashes that have nothing to do with anyone Hispanic that are just as devastating. And there are a lot more of them,” she said.

    At the same time, though, alcohol was a contributing factor in 75 percent of the fatal car crashes caused this year by Hispanics, a far higher percentage than with other groups, police said.

    Keeter said the rate of alcohol-caused crashes among whites, blacks, Asians and others is usually about 40 percent.

    South Precinct Commander Rick Langford said he welcomed the push by MADD and Conexion to target Hispanics about drinking and driving.

    “We’ve had trouble getting into the Hispanic community because of the language barrier,” Langford said.

    While MADD has started more sophisticated Spanish-language campaigns in other parts of the country, Tennessee has lagged behind, Dial said, with obvious results.

    “All of our programs have been in English, focusing and targeting the English-speaking population. We have not have much outreach at all in Middle Tennessee to the Hispanic population,” she said.

    Gonzalez said it was not statistics, but the media coverage of a number of Hispanic vehicular homicide cases and the onset of the holiday season that prompted him to act immediately.

    “But the basic message is that drinking and driving is not okay,” Gonzalez said. “It’s an opportunity to educate the Hispanic community, and we recognize that it hasn’t been done in Middle Tennessee.”

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    Copyright 2000-2004, The City Paper LLC.
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  9. #9
    Administrator Jean's Avatar
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    May 2006
    Sunday, 03/11/07

    Local Update: Immigrant's case goes to court next week

    THEN: On the afternoon of June 8, 2006, Gustavo Reyes Garcia, fleeing from police, caused a wreck that killed Mt. Juliet couple Sean and Donna Wilson, authorities say.

    Garcia, a 29-year-old who is in the country illegally, was well-known to police. He had been arrested on more than a dozen occasions that included multiple DUI charges, evading arrest and leaving the scene of an accident.

    Despite his arrest history, federal authorities didn't place an immigration hold on him all the times he was jailed before the deadly crash. He is now in Metro Jail with an immigration hold.

    NOW: A jury trial for Garcia begins March 19. He is charged with two counts of vehicular homicide while intoxicated and evading arrest. Regardless of the outcome of the trial, the Garcia case has became a flashpoint for Middle Tennesseans fed up with undocumented immigrants committing crimes. A man who was injured in the wreck last summer is suing Garcia, his girlfriend, the city of Lakewood and some of its officers.

    — SHEILA BURKE ... 006/NEWS01
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  10. #10
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    North Carolina
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    Sunday, 04/08/07
    Immigrant charged in deadly crash expected to plead guilty
    Incident sparked new focus on illegal immigration, officials say

    Staff Writer

    By pleading guilty as expected today in a Nashville courtroom, Gustavo Reyes Garcia could end the criminal case stemming from charges that his drunken driving killed two people last year.

    But the court appearance is unlikely to sate the firestorm of hostility toward illegal immigrants that galvanized after his June 8, 2006, wreck on Old Hickory Boulevard.

    Garcia, 29, is charged with driving drunk when his SUV slammed head-on into a sedan driven by a Mt. Juliet couple, killing them both.

    After the crash, authorities revealed that Garcia — a citizen of Mexico in the U.S. illegally — had been arrested at least 14 times before, including four times for driving drunk.

    The tale of government inefficiency that allowed him to remain in Tennessee after so many contacts with law enforcement fueled public outrage and changed the social landscape for other undocumented immigrants in the Midstate.

    “It was the case that brought to our attention ... the flaw in the system,” Davidson County Sheriff Daron Hall said.

    A new program to check the immigration status of every foreign-born person booked into Metro Jail is expected to be fully under way next week.

    Several Hispanic activists have said that Garcia’s case became a stereotype used to support an ideology of hatred. The case was more an illustration of the failure of the system to provide stiffer penalties for repeat traffic violators, some have said.

    Accused man has lengthy rap sheet

    Court officials said Garcia has reached a deal with prosecutors and will plead guilty today, the same day the trial was scheduled to begin. His lawyer, Assistant Metro Public Defender Glenn Dukes, did not return a call seeking comment.

    Garcia is being held at the Metro Jail under an immigration hold, which means he’ll be turned over to federal authorities after any criminal sentence he might serve.

    But Garcia was well known to law enforcement before the fatal accident.

    County records show that he had been booked into the Metro Jail on at least 14 different occasions since 1997.

    Besides the DUI cases, he had been charged with domestic assault, leaving the scenes of accidents, driving on a revoked or suspended license, resisting arrest, disorderly conduct, theft, failing to have insurance and driving with an open container.

    On at least one occasion, local authorities said, Garcia was flagged by federal authorities and deported from the country, only to return somehow and resume his streak of arrests.

    The other times, Garcia went to court, was jailed for some period and released.

    Sheriff’s officials said they routinely sent notification to federal immigration authorities that they had booked a foreign-born inmate.

    But federal officials typically did not do formal checks of the prisoners’ immigration status unless the crime was extremely serious, Hall has said.

    Until recent weeks, local officers did not have the federal computer system required to check an inmate’s immigration status.

    “It has become a motivator to get a solution in place quickly, and the good news is, although slow for the public, it’s pretty fast for government work,” Hall said.

    Deadly crash leads to new arrest

    Garcia had been driving erratically before the deadly crash, according to neighbors in his Madison neighborhood.

    Less than an hour before the tragedy, Virginia Phelps was sitting with her husband, Morris, in the front yard of their Anderson Lane home.

    They watched as Garcia, who lived just a few houses down at 814 Anderson Lane, sped down the street in his red SUV and struck their mailbox, she said.

    “It tore it completely down, and the mailbox went all to pieces,” Phelps said. “He took the post and everything.”

    Garcia didn’t stop, she said.

    A short while later, Lakewood Police Chief Lawrence Lee says he spotted Garcia weaving in and out of traffic on Old Hickory Boulevard, outside Lakewood City Hall.

    Lee says he pulled over the SUV. Garcia, he would later testify, appeared drunk and there were several bottles and cans of beer in the truck.

    But before he could be arrested, Garcia sped away and crashed into a blue Oldsmobile, authorities said. The SUV then crossed Old Hickory Boulevard and collided with a silver Buick.

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

    In a year when the issue of illegal immigration was the subject of congressional debate, Garcia’s case focused attention locally on the problem of illegal immigrants who commit crimes.

    Case brought attention to immigration issues

    The Wilsons’ daughter became an outspoken critic of illegal immigration.

    “Part of the shock of this tragedy is ... learning that there are simply no laws in place at the local or state level to aid deportation of serial criminals who are illegal aliens,” Heather Steffek said during a campaign appearance for an unsuccessful Republican gubernatorial candidate.

    Garcia’s story was followed by other high-profile cases involving illegal immigrants.
    In August, a mandolin maker for the Gibson guitar company was killed in a crash that police said was caused by an illegal immigrant who had been drinking.

    That same month, an immigrant from Mexico was arrested and accused of the beating and strangulation death of his 74-year-old neighbor.

    In September, a 16-year-old boy who had been deported and returned illegally was accused of stabbing to death a mother and her teenaged daughter who lived next door.

    Also last year, the FBI captured a Mexican man who fled to his home country after being accused of a series of rapes in the Midstate.

    The state legislature took up a flurry of bills aimed at illegal immigrants.

    Theresa Harmon, of Tennesseans for Responsible Immigration Policies, said Garcia’s case helped add urgency to the issue of immigration reform.

    “It definitely put the problem in the limelight here in Middle Tennessee,” she said.

    “It’s like dangerous intersections where there are no real traffic controls. Historically it has taken someone being killed before the problem was addressed. ... I think we’re looking at the same thing here.”
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