WASHINGTON COUNTY, OR (KPTV) - Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the Washington County Sheriff’s Office released statements Tuesday regarding the release of a manslaughter suspect from the Washington County Jail in August.

Alejandro Maldonado-Hernandez was arrested in July. Deputies said he was street racing in Aloha when he crashed into another car and killed a passenger.

Patrick Ator was seriously hurt in that crash. His wife Janace died.

“When it was all over, I woke up and looked over at my wife. She wasn’t talking. I felt her pulse and there was no pulse. In my head I said, ‘Lord, why don’t you take me too?’” he said.  

Ator and his wife were married for 57 years.

“Most people say it was one of the best marriages they’ve ever seen,” said daughter Deborah Goldstein.

Ator said, “We were totally happy.”

He and his daughter spoke with FOX 12 four months after losing his wife. 

“She was a great mother, an incredible mother and a lot of fun to be with,” Goldstein said.

Maldonado-Hernandez was arrested on charges of second-degree manslaughter, third-degree assault and reckless driving.

Deputies said he posted bail Aug. 8. Investigators subsequently learned Maldonado-Hernandez fled to Mexico. Three people accused of helping him were arrested on charges of hindering prosecution.

On Tuesday, ICE issued a press release about the case, saying they had lodged an immigration detainer regarding Maldonado-Hernandez on July 16.

“On August 8, the jail failed to honor the detainer and released Maldonado-Hernandez back into the community he had previously victimized,” according to ICE.

ICE states their detainers ask law enforcement to notify agents in advance of a suspect being released, so ICE can take that person into custody. ICE also states they have the authority to lodge immigration detainers under federal law.

“Yet, across the United States, several jurisdictions refuse to honor detainers and instead choose to willingly release criminal offenders back into their local communities where they are free to offend,” according to ICE.

The Washington County Sheriff’s Office issued a reply Tuesday, saying, “Had ICE agents provided a valid warrant or order signed by a federal judge during that time, Mr. Maldonado-Hernandez would have remained in custody.”

The statement from Sheriff Pat Garrett said ICE detainers are, “simply put,” not lawful or enforceable in the state of Oregon, citing the ruling of a 2014 Clackamas County case.

Similar situations have arisen in Multnomah County in 2017 and 2018.

“The continuing refusal of ICE agents to provide necessary legal justification for holding people they believe are a danger to our community is the real problem, not the sheriff's office insistence on following state law,” according to a Washington County Sheriff's Office statement. 

Ator and Goldstein say the law and the politics involved are beyond them and they’re still just trying to heal.

“I worry that they will get away with too little, but at the same time, that’s beyond me. My wife and I lost our togetherness and that’s really what I’m concentrating on. I don’t worry about the people that caused it,” Ator said.

Detectives continue actively working to locate Maldonado-Hernandez.

Copyright 2019 KPTV-KPDX Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved. 

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(9) comments

Terrell Higgs

This is disgusting, what about the oath the Sheriff took to uphold the law? Of course this guy was never going to come back to court, everyone knew that but it's obvious these liberal's just don't care. To them being an illegal immigrant is a get out of jail card.

75fordf250

Illegal alien, why would a murder be released when they are ILLEGAL? Garrett is right about one thing, ICE should have never picked him up, he should still be behind bars in Washington County.

Just curious

The report says: The Sheriff released the illegal immigrant back into the community, because ICE did not get a warrant for the illegal Immigrants arrest

All ICE did was give the sheriff a detainer, and I guess that was not sufficient for Sheriff Garrett..

[ban][ban][ban][ban]

Manazuma

America is a wonderful country for all foriegners. We can come here and kill people and then just go home

Stupid Americans will let us go free to continue our crime spree. Thank you America cause if I did this in my country I would never see the light of day again. Everything free in America!

Jack

The Sheriff is just playing to the liberals who keep him in office.

Lawlessness Brings Destruction

I suspect many of those politically strategic "victories" are powered by election fraud. With the leftists (aka Democrats), the ends justify the means, since in their obvious and benevolent wisdom, they "know better" than those "racists" who support the rule of law. The problem with their narratives is that illegal immigration is not a "race" and enforcing the rule of law is not "racism". Neither does lawlessness = "compassion" as is obvious from the tragic death of this dear man's wife.

Yossarian

Keep voting in the liberal dems sheeple...

PEverett67

A complete shame. Oregon should be ashamed of being a sanctuary state...

sharder8

If the suspect were to kill somebody else after the Sheriff refusing to turn him over to ICE . . . shouldn't the sheriff's office be charged as an accessory? If they were charged, how many times would it take before the Sheriff decided to turn the suspect over to ICE?

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