Thursday, May 29, 2008

Death of a Farmworker

Mariaphto Susan Ferriss tells the sad story of a farmworker who died on the job.  it starts:

"Until her death on May 16, Maria Isabel Vasquez Jimenez was another undocumented farmworker at the bottom rung of California’s farm production chain. On Wednesday, nestled in a white satin coffin, the 17-year-old girl became to farm labor advocates more a symbol of what they say are secretive and abusive conditions in some of the state’s orchards and vineyards. California occupational safety authorities are investigating the girl’s death in Lodi as a heat-related fatality. The United Farm Workers Union is calling her treatment an “egregious” violation of safety regulations put into effect three years ago after three farmworkers and a construction worker died of the heat. “Maria’s death should have been prevented,” Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger said in a statement . . . ."

UPDATE: The Sacramento Bee has put an excellent multi-media presentation of the funeral, which was attended by Governor Schwarzenegger.  The United Farm Workers are organizing a pilgrammage starting on Sunday in Lodi and ending in Sacramento on Tuesday.


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Speaking of things that wouldn't have happened had our laws had been enforced, read these articles. The victims mentioned in these articles would be alive today, if our borders had been secured against illegal entry, but I guess that's just the collateral damage we should expect from open borders. Remember, the victim's families couldn't care less if the majority of illegal aliens are just here for work. You open borders advocates should have to explain that they died for the sake of your agenda. Such a shame:

Suspect in triple fatal wreck under immigration detainer
Posted: May. 28, 2008 9:16 a.m.
Updated: May. 28, 2008 4:38 p.m.

A man accused of drunken-driving in oncoming traffic and causing a triple fatal wreck Sunday was placed under an immigration detainer at the time of his arrest, the Wake County Sheriff's Office said Wednesday.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement placed the detainer on Francisco Javier Martinez, 30, of 1925 Village Squire Circle in Knightdale, following his release Tuesday from WakeMed, where he was recovering from his injuries.

At that time, he was arrested and charged with one count of driving while impaired, three counts of felony death by motor vehicle, two counts of felony serious injury by motor vehicle, one count of driving the wrong direction and one count of driving without a license.

The detainer means Martinez would be placed in federal custody if he posts bail, under suspicion of being in the country illegally. Once the case goes through the legal system and any sentence is served, deportation proceedings would begin against him.

Martinez was traveling westbound in an eastbound lane on the inner loop of Interstate 440 early Sunday when the van he was driving collided with a Lexus near the on-ramp from Capital Boulevard, police said.

Guillermo Zintzun Jimenez, 26, Dagoberto Zintzun Jimenez, 21, and Santiago Pascual Tellez, 14, died at the scene.

During Martinez's first court appearance Wednesday afternoon, a judge ordered he be held under a $500,000 secured bond – an increase from $126,000.

Assistant District Attorney Tom Ford asked the bond to be doubled in light of the ICE detainer and because Martinez could be indicted on more serious charges.

Under the charges he faces now, Martinez could receive a maximum sentence of 59 months for each death charge.

Family members of the victims said they were returning from a party at the time of the wreck.
Tellez, a student at East Wake Middle School, was supposed to return home earlier with his brother but wasn't ready to leave the party when his brother did, relatives said.

A police report on the collision stated Guillermo Jimenez, who was driving the Lexus, had not been drinking. Dagoberto Jimenez and Tellez were not wearing seat belts, police said.

Two other passengers – brothers Jose Canuto Canuto, 24, and Louis Alberto Canuto, 21– survived. They were both at home Wednesday recovering from their injuries.


Four Arrested In Ardmore For Bogus Payroll Checks

Updated: May 27, 2008 05:43 PM CDT

Featured Video

Four Arrested In Ardmore For Bogus Payroll Checks

KTEN Local News

Man Arrested for Attempted Murder in Denison

Ardmore Police arrest four people in possession of counterfeit payroll checks totaling $10,000. Police believe three out of the four men are illegal immigrants. KTEN's Hailee Holliday reports.

The four men were first spotted circling the area around West Broadway and I-35 in a suspicious manner before being pulled over for a minor traffic violation.

Inside the car, police found $10,000 worth of counterfeit payroll checks from a company in Birmingham, Alabama and altered Mexican national IDs.

Police say the men did not speak English very well and Wilson Police Chief Felix Hernandez was called in to translate.

Three of the men were suspicious about their identity and could not give legit social security numbers, so police contacted immigration service.

Ardmore Detective Chad Anthony says, "You can tell if the identification cards are legit or not. We see them a lot being so close to Mexico, but you always run in to that, they knew they were fraudulent ID cards."

Carlos Alba, Jose Luna-Martinez, Jose Perez and George Rodriguez were booked in The Carter County Jail for possession of stolen property.

The investigation into Alba, Luna-Martinez and Perez's actual names is under investigation.

Police say should hear back from immigration services soon on the men's identity.

Hailee Holliday, KTEN News

Judge gives man 10 years for Charleston killing
Font Size: By Jessica Musicar, Staff Writer
Friday, May 23, 2008 | 27 comment(s)

Interpreter Martha Molitor interprets Judge Michael Gillespie’s words to defendant Benito Rincon-Flores during a plea-change hearing on Thursday. They stand with defense attorney Daniel Koenig and Coos County District Attorney R. Paul Frasier (far right). During the hearing, Gillespie sentenced Rincon-Flores to 10 years in prison after he pleaded guilty to first-degree manslaughter. - World photo by Jessica Musciar

Available in 10", 14", 20" & 30", framed or unframedCOQUILLE — His charge is a step down from what the district attorney originally wanted. But, the man who killed a Charleston resident will spend the next 10 years staring at the walls of a prison.

On Thursday afternoon, Benito Rincon-Flores, 33, of San Jose, Calif., pleaded guilty to first-degree manslaughter during a plea-change hearing at the Coos County Courthouse.

Prosecutors originally charged Rincon-Flores on Feb. 8 with the murder of Harvey Davis, a local fisherman and mushroom picker. Rincon-Flores shot Davis repeatedly with a pistol. Coos County District Attorney R. Paul Frasier said he believes unknown acquaintances of Rincon-Flores buried the corpse in a shallow grave in the Coos County Forest near Ted Ellingson Road, about five miles from where Rincon-Flores and Davis had been living at 59464 W. Beaver Hill Road. Prior to that, Davis’ body had been wrapped in plastic and stored in a broken-down white Chevrolet van on the Beaver Hill property. Coos County sheriff’s deputies discovered Davis’ body on Aug. 12, 2006, when an informant led them to the corpse.

Judge Michael Gillespie sentenced Rincon-Flores for the August 10, 2006, shooting death of Davis. Rincon-Flores also will serve two days on an unrelated charge of driving under the influence of intoxicants and his driver’s license has been permanently suspended.

Frasier said he worked out the plea deal with defense attorney Daniel Koenig because he did not have a solid case for murder. He noted several issues that impacted his case, including a tampered crime scene, a lack of viable witnesses and no murder weapon. Several individuals, Frasier said, cleaned the crime scene with bleach.

“Our crime scene was totally mucked up,” Frasier explained after the hearing. “That’s why I offered manslaughter 1.

“In this case, there was a deliberate attempt to remove all evidence that the murder occurred there.”

Dressed in a navy blue Coos County jail jumpsuit, his hands and legs shackled, Rincon-Flores appeared somber, often looking toward the ground as interpreter Martha Molitor relayed the judge’s words to him in Spanish.

Rincon-Flores openly spoke as the judge questioned him to ensure he had not agreed to the plea deal under duress or influence of drugs.

The judge also asked him to admit to his crime.

Rincon-Flores said Davis had died from gunshot wounds he had inflicted.

“Did you cause the death of Harvey Davis?” Gillespie asked him.

“Yes,” Rincon-Flores replied through Molitor.

“How did he die?” Gillespie said.

“Gunshot,” Rincon-Flores said quietly.

Following his 10-year sentence, Rincon-Flores will be required to spend three years on post-prison supervision.

However, because he is believed to be a citizen of Mexico, he likely will be deported once he’s released.

“If you are not a citizen of this country and you plead guilty to this crime, I can assure you will be deported from the country,” Gillespie told him.

The judge decided to permanently suspend Rincon-Flores’ license after learning the man had been convicted of two other DUIIs.

No family members or friends spoke for Davis or Rincon-Flores. However, Frasier read a statement from Angelique Davis, Davis’ girlfriend and the mother of his daughter, about her loss.

She sat quietly in the courtroom seats throughout the hearing.

“This statement is about a man I love, the father of my daughter, my best friend. His death has left me shocked, angry, empty and alone,” Frasier read, as Angelique Davis wiped her eyes.

“Every day, when I wake up to this nightmare my life has become, I want to close my eyes again and die, just to be with Harvey again.”

She also wrote that their daughter Cora, who was 2 at the time of Davis’ death, will never be able to share her life with her father.

“Cora will never know her dad, except what I tell her. ... He will miss everything,” Frasier read. “I will never be the same. I will forever be heart broken and our daughter will forever be fatherless.”

Following the hearing, Frasier said there was some confusion about Rincon-Flores’ age. In the hearing, the Rincon-Flores said he is 31, but court documents state he is 33 years old.

Frasier said Rincon-Flores had about six aliases and dates of birth to go with each.

Rincon-Flores will be taken to the Oregon Department of Corrections intake center in Wilsonville.

He has 30 days to appeal his sentence.


May 20, 2008, 12:13PM
Widow of slain HPD officer sues Quintero employer
As jurors weigh killer's sentence, victim's wife says landscaper was negligent in hiring the illegal immigrant

Copyright 2008 Houston Chronicle

The widow of slain Houston police officer Rodney Johnson filed a wrongful death lawsuit Monday against the landscaper who employed Johnson's killer, as jurors continued deliberating Juan Leonardo Quintero's fate.

Quintero was convicted earlier this month of shooting Johnson seven times after he was arrested during a traffic stop.

Johnson's widow, Joslyn, said Robert Lane Camp was negligent in hiring Quintero, an illegal immigrant from Mexico.

"He needs to pay for his actions," Johnson said.

Her attorney, Ben Dominguez, said the negligence theory is based on testimony that Camp shouldn't have let Quintero drive a company truck illegally. Quintero did not have a driver's license.

Testimony also showed that Quintero drank about 24 beers every day and sometimes used cocaine, which Dominguez cited in his petition alleging Camp should have known Quintero was dangerous.

Jurors weighing whether Quintero should receive the death penalty for the shooting were sequestered late Monday and will resume deliberations Tuesday morning.

A note from the jury late Monday seemed to indicate that the jurors had decided Quintero would be a future threat to society — one of two questions any jury must decide before doling out the death penalty. According to the note, which was read in open court, jurors said they are moving on to the second question: whether there are any mitigating factors showing that Quintero should be spared.

Defense attorneys on Monday pleaded for the life of Quintero, while Harris County prosecutors said he should pay "the ultimate price" for shooting Rodney Johnson.

"It wasn't planned; it wasn't deliberate," said Danalynn Recer, Quintero's attorney. "He fell off the edge."

Recer told jurors there are many reasons to show mercy and spare Quintero's life, including his wife and two stepchildren.

Recer has conceded that Quintero shot Johnson as the officer filled out a booking sheet in the front seat of his patrol car on Sept. 21, 2006.

She said the shooting was a "freak circumstance" in which Quintero exploded, but that he would not pose a future threat to society if given life in prison without parole.

Prosecutors worked to show that Quintero should be executed for the shooting.

"If you're a threat in the back seat of a patrol car, you're a threat anywhere," said Denise Bradley, an assistant district attorney.

"If you follow the law," she told jurors, "there may not be mercy, but there will be justice."

To show a past criminal history, prosecutors pointed out that Quintero had several DWI convictions and was deported after pleading guilty to indecency with a 12-year-old girl in 1999.

The jury has not heard any details of that crime.

"You know he should pay the ultimate price," prosecutor John Jordan said. "You know he deserves it."

The arguments capped the trial in state District Judge Joan Campbell's court.

The jury convicted Quintero of capital murder on May 8. He had pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity.

Jurors began deliberating on Quintero's sentence at noon Monday. They will be sequestered until they reach their verdict.

Johnson was killed after stopping Quintero for speeding and arresting the 34-year-old for not having a driver's license. Investigators said Johnson patted down Quintero, but missed a 9mm semiautomatic pistol tucked in Quintero's waistband.

In a videotaped statement, Quintero said he shot Johnson while he was locked in the back seat of the patrol car, his hands cuffed behind his back.

Joslyn Johnson's attorney, Ben Dominguez, said she is seeking "not less than $10 million in damages," from Camp and his landscaping company for hiring Quintero, housing him and allowing him to drive a company truck even though he didn't have a license.

Camp is under federal indictment and faces up to 10 years in prison, accused of harboring Quintero. Neither Camp nor his criminal defense lawyer could be reached late Monday.

Joslyn Johnson also said she is contemplating suing the City of Houston to force HPD to staff each patrol car with two officers.

"If there were two officers at that scene, my husband would still be alive," Johnson said. A police officer herself, Johnson wrote a letter to Houston Police Chief Harold Hurtt after her husband's death asking him to change the policy, she said.

Posted by: Horace | May 29, 2008 4:17:07 PM

Farm accidents are extremely commonplace and there are several diseases and chronic health conditions associated with farm work. If you have fallen victim to a farm accident injury or related health problem you should speak to a solicitor as soon as possible

Posted by: Farm Worker Injury | Oct 27, 2010 3:16:36 AM

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