An illegal immigrant from Mexico pleads guilty in fatal car accident that killed a 4-year-old boy
An illegal immigrant living in Boone County has been sentenced to up to 10 years in prison after pleading guilty to causing a fatal car accident that killed a 4-year-old boy.
Christian Javier Sanchez-Rubio, 23, of Whitesville entered his plea during a hearing Monday at the Boone County Courthouse in Madison. Circuit Judge William Thompson handed down the maximum 10-year-sentence, but Sanchez-Rubio will be eligible for parole.
He pleaded guilty to two drunken driving-related charges, including driving under the influence causing death and DUI causing injury.
Assistant Prosecutor Parker Bazzle said the plea came as a surprise to his office. The matter was only scheduled for a brief, pre-trial hearing Monday.
Bazzle said the two sides had been working on a plea, but no deal had been struck before Sanchez-Rubio formerly announced his plea in court.
"I came to court knowing it was a possibility, but I wasn't expecting a plea," Bazzle said. "I figured it was less likely than more likely."
Prosecutors said Sanchez-Rubio was speeding down W.Va. 3 near Sylvester on Aug. 6, 2006, when his 2000 Dodge Dakota truck collided head-on with a car driven by Terry Evans of Clear Fork. Police said Sanchez-Rubio's truck was in the wrong lane.
Evans' son, Tyler, 4, died from injuries he sustained in the accident. He was sitting in the passenger seat and had a seat belt on, police said.
His little brother, Micah, 2, who was sitting in the back seat, was also injured in the accident.
Police said after his arrest that Sanchez-Rubio had provided a fake immigration document and a Mexican driver's license, both of which identified him as Jose Carlos Madrigal. He had worked at coal mines throughout Boone County, police said.
Bazzle said Monday's hearing was very emotional, with members of the Evans family and Sanchez-Rubio all offering tearful testimony.
"He apologized for his actions," Bazzle said. "He came off as very sincere."
Sanchez-Rubio is being held at the Southwestern Regional Jail. He will remain there until Department of Corrections officials can find a place for him in the state penitentiary.
Bazzle said because of Sanchez-Rubio's illegal immigrant status, he could be deported after serving his prison sentence. That decision will be up to federal immigration officials, Bazzle said.
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