Archive for Thursday, December 8, 2011

Mexican national, who killed woman in 2005, heading to federal court after third DUI conviction

December 8, 2011


A Mexican national accused of re-entering the country illegally after killing a woman in a 2005 Lawrence drunken-driving crash faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in federal prison.

Douglas County District Judge Kay Huff Thursday ordered Adan Cruz-Santos, 29, to be transferred to federal custody after she sentenced him to three months in jail for his third DUI conviction involving an Aug. 21 traffic stop in Lawrence. Cruz-Santos has spent more than 90 days in jail since his August arrest in the new Douglas County case.

Cruz-Santos was deported in February 2010 after serving prison time for an involuntary manslaughter and DUI conviction. He struck and killed Jodie Hatzenbihler, a 25-year-old nurse from Olathe, early on April 9, 2005, as she was walking across Sixth Street after leaving Cadillac Ranch, 2515 W. Sixth St. The 2005 fatality was his second DUI conviction.

“What I find particularly egregious is not the fact that he re-entered the United States but the fact that he continued to get behind the wheel while he was very intoxicated,” Assistant Douglas County District Attorney Eve Kemple said after Thursday’s sentencing.

Hatzenbihler’s family members watched Thursday’s hearing as Cruz-Santos, through interpreter James Calderon, apologized for all three DUI convictions.

“I think I really have a problem with alcohol,” he said. “I think this time I’m really going to have to do this program for alcohol to rehabilitate myself.”

Kemple said she and Hatzenbihler’s family members were still skeptical of his words. She said Cruz-Santos’ blood-alcohol level was well above the legal limit after his August traffic stop in which he gave police an alias, Alvaro Altamirano Cortez.

“How is it after you kill someone doing this — if that doesn’t shock you and wake you up to change your life, what will?” Kemple said.

He pleaded no contest Oct. 27 in the new Douglas County case, and a federal grand jury then indicted Cruz-Santos on one count of illegally re-entering the country after he was convicted of a felony.

Hatzenbihler’s family members plan to ask federal prosecutors to push for the 10-year maximum federal prison sentence.

Kemple is credited with discovering Cruz-Santos was the same man convicted for Hatzenbihler’s death because he was arrested in August under the alias. His real name came up under an ID number on some documentation so she compared his current mug shot to an older one. Prosecutors also confirmed his identity through a finger-print analysis, she said. The federal indictment charges him under both names. No hearings have been set yet in the federal case.

Huff also ordered Cruz-Santos to pay a $2,500 fine for his third DUI conviction.


homechanger 3 years, 11 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

patkindle 3 years, 11 months ago

he was probably just comming back early so he would be sure to be here to vote in the nov 2012 election and show his support for his favorite candidate

pace 3 years, 11 months ago

I don't care how political you are, fabricating a case of voter fraud, claiming he came back to support Brownback is dirty.

Jayhawk1958 3 years, 11 months ago

keep'em on the other side of the fence.

Bill Cushing 3 years, 11 months ago

Can't agree more "Agnostick". Great idea.

gccs14r 3 years, 11 months ago

It's too bad we can't pay Mexico to put him in one of their prisons for ten years. It's gotta be cheaper than keeping him in one of our own.

gccs14r 3 years, 11 months ago

I mean, we outsource everything else these days, why not incarceration?

gccs14r 3 years, 11 months ago

Mexico, AFAIK, doesn't have any reason to jail him, so they couldn't just lock him up for us, but we might be able to contract with them for bed space to alleviate overcrowding. As long as it doesn't violate cruel and unusual, it should pass legal argument. In fact, an argument could be made that using a Mexican contract prison would be less cruel, since family could more easily visit him there.

jhawkinsf 3 years, 11 months ago

Whenever the issue of illegal immigration comes up, there are usually an equal number of people advocating for each side of the argument. Where are all the pro-amnesty, pro-illegal immigrations folks today? They are strangely quiet.

parrothead8 3 years, 11 months ago

I'm for amnesty, but not for folks who kill people.

jhawkinsf 3 years, 11 months ago

"but not for folks who kill" How about rapists? Or child molesters? Or thieves?
That's the problem with amnesty. They've broken one law and then you're going to tell them it's O.K. Having sent that message, it's not surprising that they would break more laws. If the people of this country decide that amnesty is the best way, fine. But until that happens, I think everyone should obey our laws.

beatrice 3 years, 11 months ago

Have you ever driven above the speed limit? The speed limit is a law, you know. Should we consider you as dangerous as a rapist then?

You see, you just equated someone entering the country illegally -- something people do in search of employment and other benefits -- with rapists, child molesters and thieves. They are hardly one and the same (well, at least not rapists and child molesters anyway).

Without even going into the amnesty issue, making sure that our deportation efforts are focused on those who are believed to have committed other crimes besides entering the country illegally is the best way to go.

jhawkinsf 3 years, 11 months ago

Not I. I just asked the question. It was the previous post that wanted to distance amnesty from killers. I just inquired how far is the distance from amnesty to rape, or molesting, or stealing, or, or, or. It seems like the old slippery slope problem, with everyone having a different idea about when we've gone too far. And when we all have different ideas about a thing like which laws to obey and which laws it's O.K. to break, and then you add in to that idea the notion of amnesty, for some laws and not others, then the system has broken down.

beatrice 3 years, 11 months ago

I can't say I agree. I believe we would all say that rape and molesting, as well as grand theft (but maybe not stealing a loaf of bread), are crimes that cross the line. We would all feel that these crimes are going too far: the slope you mention isn't quite as slippery after all. If we are to consider entering the country illegally as a crime equal to all others, however, it hardly makes amnesty even worth discussing. I don't think it really helps to include the crimes against people and property when discussing what to do about those who have entered illegally but have, otherwise, lived as law abiding individuals since arriving.

The individual of this story is clearly someone who crossed the line numerous times. I hope he gets a maximum sentence, and that is too little, in my opinion.

jayhawkinsf 3 years, 11 months ago

Someone else in another thread the other day mentioned "a starving person stealing food". My response was that if that person is really starving, then they're not in the United States. With food banks, public and private charities, no one is starving in America. So your "stealing a loaf of bread" statement just doesn't have the same impact with me that it does with you. If they're stealing a loaf of bread, it's because they don't want to pay for it, not that they're starving. As far as I'm concerned, a person stealing because they don't want to pay for it is half way down that slippery slope.
Take another example, a pregnant woman coming across the border to have her child here. It may seem a noble thing for her to do, to get a better life for her child, who if born here, is granted automatic citizenship along with whatever benefits that brings. But by doing that, she has defrauded the hospital and the taxpayers in that city. The medical treatment she receives will be free for her, but the costs will be borne by others. I'm not even sure that what she has done is a crime, other than the first act of illegally crossing the border. But again, by passing on her medical bills to taxpayers puts her half way down that slippery slope, even if what she did isn't illegal.

parrothead8 3 years, 11 months ago

" one is starving in America."

You're clearly not in touch with reality.

parrothead8 3 years, 11 months ago

This isn't an article about rapists, child molesters, or thieves. It's an article about someone who drove drunk and killed someone. That's what I was responding to. I'm SO sorry I can't anticipate your imagination.

kawrivercrow 3 years, 11 months ago

Yes, and let me tell you why.

Suppose you have a dog, fenced in and going in and out of your house via a doggy-door. Sometimes the dog poops on your carpet. You understand that this is the price you pay for having a dog and you clean up the mess and look for remedies to stop inappropriate defecation. Now, suppose the neighbor's dog jumps over your fence, enters the doggy-door and does the same thing. You come home, find the neighbor's dog, find the pile of feces and clean it up and throw the dog off your property. Next day, the same thing happens again. Next day, the neighbor's dog is here...with another neighbor's dog. Now, you don't really know these dogs. Sure, they may seem friendly, but most dogs SEEM friendly, at least on a superficial level, eve if they're still potentially dangerous. Do they have parasites? Are they vaccinated? Are your pets now subject to attack and injury? You don't know any of those answers. Regardless, you chose to have one dog, and now you have multiple dogs coming and going and you have no control over these dogs. You also have a carpet that is getting stained far worse than your own dog would be capable of. All from dogs who had absolutely no business being there to begin with.

To top it off, you realize now you have absolutely no control over what animals are on your property now. When will it stop? You don't know, but you are seeing more and more dogs running around every day, with no solution in sight and a local animal control dept. that is either overwhelmed, incompetent or indifferent.

kawrivercrow 3 years, 11 months ago

How about an analogy where your son dies from a medical mistake committed by a nurse who forged her license?

Regardless of how much you think it 'would hurt the same', your perception of how much it hurts is not the primary qualifier on the egregiousness of the crime.

We are all subjected to various necessary risks in life. When those risks are absolutely, 100 percent categorically unnecessary, it DOES change things, whether you are able to admit it or not. A death due to a drunk driver vs one due to natural causes is, in itself, a prime example.

jafs 3 years, 11 months ago

Well, except for the fact that people aren't dogs, you might have a point there somewhere.

kawrivercrow 3 years, 11 months ago

No. Dogs aren't 100% accountable for their actions. People are.

Tom McCune 3 years, 11 months ago

We should just deport his decapitated remains.

coloradoan 3 years, 11 months ago

How about this BS: he "apologized for all three DUI convictions" - but not a peep about being sorry for killing someone. POS.

cato_the_elder 3 years, 11 months ago

"'What I find particularly egregious is not the fact that he re-entered the United States but the fact that he continued to get behind the wheel while he was very intoxicated,” Assistant Douglas County District Attorney Eve Kemple said after Thursday’s sentencing.'"

As a taxpayer who pays your salary, Ms. Kemple, the fact that you don't find the fact that this murdering, three-time loser re-entered the United States to be "particularly egregious" makes me believe that you should be looking for a new job.

Shelley Bock 3 years, 11 months ago

Cato, that borders on one of the more ridiculous posts you have ever made. So what if she didn't say "particularly egregious" to fit your fancy.

Without Ms. Kemple's work, which went beyond any police work in this case, the Defendant would not have been identified and this matter wouldn't have gained any notoriety. Not easy picking up on the identity issue and she should be commended for her good work and not defamed. I'm not in Ms. Kemple's corner or a supporter, but often I have been a protagonist. She did good work and your silly statement shouldn't detract from that fact.

cato_the_elder 3 years, 11 months ago

If you agree with Ms. Kemple that this man's illegal re-entry into the U.S. was not "particularly egregious," which was the only point I raised, then your credibility on this issue is zero.

Liberty275 3 years, 11 months ago

This is all just racism. If we put this mexican national in prison, how is he going to vote for hope and change?

Shelley Bock 3 years, 11 months ago

You're correct, Liberty, it is all just about racism. Don't see anyone arguing for death and dismemberment for anyone else with a his 3rd DWI. Apply the same standard for punishment across the board. Let's just execute all 3 time DWI offenders, no matter their nationality or legal status in the US.

Yes, this is different because of the previous conviction of the death of an individual. He's stupid to come back to the US. He's stupid to drink and drive and now he potentially could pay for it by his federal prosecution.

What I find so funny is that you make comment about him not being able to vote. No Mexican illegal would think of going down to the courthouse, signing an affidavit that they are eligible to vote, identify their address, let alone, showing up on voting day. They came to the US to work. Not being discovered allows them to continue with their work. Why would they chance that going to the voting booth?

Flap Doodle 3 years, 11 months ago

"Why would they chance that going to the voting booth?" Because otherwise they won't get paid by ACORN?

marymo70 3 years, 11 months ago

Obviously some of you have never lived by the Mexican-American border. We all better learn to speak Spanish.

Shelley Bock 3 years, 11 months ago

I'm doing just that marymo70, listening in Spanish to a day long lecture on Spanish legal system and contract law. I'm getting prepared.

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