Courtney Hacking is on a mission to make sure that illegal immigrants face up to their crimes after her family was killed by a man in the country illegally and he received only a slap on the wrist as punishment.
What happened to her family?
Her husband, Peter Hacking, was driving on a highway in Wylie, Texas, with his two children in the car when Margarito Quintero Rosales fell asleep at the wheel, drifted over the median into oncoming traffic, and crashed his car head-on into their car.
Peter and their two children, 4-year-old Ellie Bryant and 22-month-old Grayson Hacking died in the 2016 accident.
Rosales is a Mexican national illegally in the United States, and had been driving without a license.
The accident came just two days before their first wedding anniversary.
What was Rosales’ punishment?
In what Courtney Hacking called an “offensive” judgment, Rosales was sentenced to the maximum punishment for criminally negligent homicide. In a plea deal, Rosales received only two years in prison. With 537 days subtracted for time served, he went to prison for a paltry measure of time.
“Today for me is offensive to our family. There’s no justice in what you’re getting today,” she said to Rosales in court.
What change does Hacking want in the law?
Because the deaths were caused by an accident, the state would have been unable to prove Rosales intended to kill the family, which would carry a steeper punishment. Courtney Hacking is working with federal lawmakers to make immigration status an “aggravating factor” in deadly crimes and thereby increase the punishment for guilty offenders.
Here’s a local news video report about her plight:
“You weren’t supposed to be here,” she said to Rosales from a written statement during court proceedings. “All of this heartbreak is because of you.”
“You were in this country illegally for the second time. You were driving a car without a license, coming from a job you were illegally paid to do,” she said. “Because of your selfishness, three beautiful people lost their lives.”