A drunk-driving illegal alien who was twice deported before he mowed down and killed a police officer was sentenced to 55 years in prison.
Johoan Rodriguez, a 27-year-old veteran border jumper from Mexico, killed Houston police officer Kevin Will on May 29, 2011 as the officer, a husband and father, was investigating a another crash. A drunken Rodriguez plowed into him in the wee hours of the morning.
On Monday, the Houston Chronicle and other news organizations reported, Rodriguez pleaded guilty to intoxication manslaughter. He will spend about 22 years in prison before parole is considered, the newspaper reported.
It’s hard to know which is more unfathomable: the crash itself or that Rodriguez was yet another illegal alien the government permitted to repeatedly enter the country without consequence.
That said, the facts show that Rodriguez was a habitual doper and drunkard. Reported KHOU Television, “Rodriguez had a blood-alcohol level nearly three times the legal limit when he raced through a police roadblock on the North Loop near Yale at an estimated 90 miles an hour on May 29, 2011.” Will was with another HPD member “investigating a motorcycle crash and had closed the highway,” the station noted.
Police dashcam video played for the jury during the one-week trial, and again during closing arguments, shows Rodriguez’s Volkswagen hitting Kevin Will — severing both legs and killing him instantly.
When police collared Rodriguez, he had 0.33 grams of cocaine in his pocket, an unsurprising cache for a member of the murderous MS-13.
Will’s widow, Alisha, was pregnant when Rodriguez mowed down her husband. “Kevin was my one true love and an amazing father, and you took him from me,” she told the court “before bursting into tears,” as the Chronicle reported.
Her mother, who was standing next to her, took up the task of reading Alisha Will’s words.
“You have broken my family forever,” Cyndee Graham read as HPD officers wiped their eyes in the gallery. “A very selfish man is what you are.”
KHOU-TV reported the heartrending scene as well: “Kevin was an amazing father to my kids and I loved him very much,” said Will. Her mother also read these words: “I was six months pregnant when you killed my husband. My son Kevin, Jr. will never meet his father because of you.”
According to KHOU, “It was an emotional case for everyone involved. ‘I’m having nightmares…and the judge said it will go away,’ said juror Pat Pinney.”
No Border Control
Given that the U.S. border with Mexico is completely out of control, it’s no suprise Rodriguez simply came back here after being deported. According to KHOU, “Rodriguez was brought to the U.S. illegally by his parents when he was 8 years old.”
His father, Juan, disappeared under mysterious circumstances when Rodriguez was 11 and was found murdered a few months later. Rodriguez was raised in Houston and went to Houston-area schools, until he dropped out of high school in the 11th grade.
As the Chronicle reported when Rodriguez killed Will, “Rodriguez is an illegal immigrant from Mexico who was deported in 2005 and 2006.” And he was as determined to break American law as he was to get drunk and drive the night he killed Will, the newspaper reported.
Federal court records show that Rodriguez tried to enter the U.S. through the Brownsville [Texas] Port of Entry by falsely claiming to be a U.S. citizen on Dec. 29, 2005. Just days after he was deported back to Mexico, he tried again to get in, this time through the Hidalgo Port of Entry, records show. He again claimed to be a U.S. citizen, born in Houston, and showed a Texas driver's license to support his claim, according to records. He was deported a second time.
Tela Mange, a Texas Department of Public Safety spokeswoman, confirmed that Rodriguez was issued a driver's license in 2007. The license is still valid, she said. In 2008, DPS started requiring driver's license applicants to show proof of citizenship or legal status.
Even worse, he had a lengthy criminal record, despite what defense attorneys claimed was “his lack of a criminal record,” as KHOU described their effort. As the Chronicle reported at the time, “Municipal court records show Rodriguez had several prior contacts with Houston police, dating to 2001.”
His misdemeanor record includes five violations in 2009 — including driving without insurance and with an expired license plate. There was no jail time associated with any of the recent cases, said Gwendolyn Goins, spokeswoman for the city's Municipal Courts Department.
Amazingly, Rodriguez somehow got a driver’s license after he was deported and re-entered the country illegally, KRTK-TV reported at the time of Will’s death:
We checked and found Rodriguez had obtained a valid Texas driver’s license in 2007 after he’d been deported twice and refused entry once. That was before the 2008 law requiring an applicant to provide proof of citizenship or legal status.
We’ve also learned Rodriguez was stopped by Houston police three times in 2009 for traffic violations. Police would have discovered his status had he been arrested and booked into the city jail — that’s where fingerprints are run through local, state and federal databases.
Rodriguez’ killing Will is no surprise. As The New American has reported repeatedly, many illegal aliens are prone to drive drunk and without licenses or with bogus licenses, with the expected result that others die when they get behind the wheel.
Given Houston’s history as a sanctuary, plus zero control of the border, Will’s death at the hands of an illegal was no surprise. Nor was his the first.
As KRTK reported at the time, “Two of the last six Houston police officers killed in the line of duty died at the hands of an accused drunk driver who was in this country illegally.” Officer Gary Gryder was another policeman killed when an drunk-driving illegal, this one Vietnamese, plowed through a construction barrier. The 23-year police veteran, the Chronicle reported, was directing traffic.
Houston police officer Rodney Johnston also fell victim to an illegal alien, only this one didn’t kill him while careening down the road. Rather, in September 2006, Johnson had pulled over Juan Leonardo Quintero for speeding, then arrested him for driving without a license. Quintero had been deported in 1999, only to return. In frisking Quintero, Johnson missed a gun tucked into the murderer’s waistband, the Chronicle reported. Quintero shot Johnson seven times.
Even worse, an American landscaper harbored Quintero for years, which makes him partly responsible for Johnson’s death. He landed a light sentence for his indirect role in Johnson’s death.
“Court documents show that Robert Lane Camp, 47, went to considerable lengths to help Juan Leonardo Quintero and keep him on the job at his Deer Park landscaping company before the September 2006 killing of officer Rodney Johnson,” the Chronicle reported.
In August 1998, Camp posted a $10,000 bond for Quintero after he was jailed on an indecency with a child charge and hired an attorney to defend him. After the worker was deported in May 1999, Camp sent him money in Mexico and later bought him a plane ticket from Phoenix to Houston after Quintero re-entered through Arizona illegally, according to an affidavit by an Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent. Camp then purchased a house in Houston and rented it to Quintero.
Camp pleaded guilty, received five years probation that included including three months in prison and three months of house arrest, the newspaper reported.
Photo: Crumpled and broken hoods of two collided cars after accident via Shutterstock