Illegal Immigrant Charged in Court After Killing NFL Player in Drunk Driving Crash
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — A Guatemalan man living illegally in the U.S. said little as he faced a judge after being charged in a drunken-driving crash that killed Indianapolis Colts linebacker Edwin Jackson and an Uber driver. A Marion County judge entered a not guilty plea for 37-year-old Manuel Orrego-Savala during a court hearing Wednesday.
Police say the 26-year-old Jackson and his 54-year-old Uber driver, Jeffrey Monroe, were standing outside Monroe's car along Interstate 70 in Indianapolis early Sunday when they were struck by a pickup truck Orrego-Savala was driving.
The charges include causing death while driving intoxicated and leaving the scene of an accident. The two most serious counts each carry maximum sentences of up to 20 years in prison.
Orrego-Savala's only responses in court were answering through an interpreter as the judge explained the proceedings and charges.
Authorities say Orrego-Savala was deported from the U.S. in 2007 and 2009, and he was again living illegally in the U.S.
On Twitter, President Trump used the fatal accident to push for comprehensive immigration reform:
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!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 6, 2018
Defense attorney Jorge Torres says his client's immigration status has no bearing on the crash case. He notes that Orrego-Savala has been living in Indiana for several years and doing construction work in the Indianapolis area. Torres says his client is distraught and confused.
NH1 News contributed to this report.