The prosecutor’s office in Marion County, Ind., filed four charges Wednesday against Manuel Orrego-Savala, the illegal immigrant from Guatemala who was taken into custody following a car crash that killed Indianapolis Colts player Edwin Jackson and Uber driver Jeffrey Monroe on Sunday.
Orrego-Savala was charged with two counts of causing death when operating a motor vehicle and two counts of failure to remain at the scene of an accident for the fatal crash three days earlier.
“We will vigorously prosecute this matter, just like any comparable crime, not because of the immigration status of an accused, but because two innocent men lost their lives in this horrible incident,” Marion County Prosecutor Terry Curry said in a statement.
During his first court appearance Tuesday, Orrego-Savala told the judge through an interpreter, “I wasn’t driving the car. I don’t know why I’m here.”
Early Sunday morning, Monroe had been driving Jackson on I-70 in Marion County when he pulled over on the side of the highway because Jackson did not feel well. Both men exited the car and were standing in the emergency shoulder when police say Orrego-Savala, 37, drove his pick-up truck into them.
The suspect left the scene of the crash, but was later apprehended by police. A breath test by law enforcement found he had a blood-alcohol level of nearly 0.24 percent, three times the legal level.
Orrego-Savala had also been driving without a license and told police his name was Alex Cabrera Gonsales. He was later confirmed by Immigration and Customs Enforcement to have been deported on two previous occasions and have been charged and convicted on “many” other crimes.
Following news of the deaths, President Trump demanded that Congress eliminate loopholes that allowed the twice-deported illegal immigrant to kill the two men.
“So disgraceful that a person illegally in our country killed @Colts linebacker Edwin Jackson. This is just one of many such preventable tragedies. We must get the Dems to get tough on the Border, and with illegal immigration, FAST!” Trump tweeted Tuesday.
Curry lambasted Trump’s response to the incident.
“We are disheartened that ghoulish and inappropriate public commentary has politicized this tragedy. Much of such commentary, including tweets by the president, fails to acknowledge that both Edwin Jackson and Jeffrey Monroe lost their lives on Sunday. We will simply seek justice on behalf of the families of those two victims,” said Curry.
Curry’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.more