The family of a North Carolina man who was struck and killed last September is demanding justice after the illegal immigrant convicted of the hit-and-run was given what the family says is a lenient sentence.
What are the details?
Neri Damian Cruz-Carmona, a 26-year-old illegal immigrant from Mexico, was arrested in Raleigh last September after police say he struck and killed 26-year-old Jamar Rashaun Beach, who was riding a motorcycle.
The impact of the collision was so violent that it decapitated Beach, police said. And it gets worse: Instead of stopping to alert authorities of the accident, Cruz-Carmona fled from the scene with Beach's mangled body in tow, according to WTVD-TV. Police believe Cruz-Carmona was intoxicated at the time of the accident.
Cruz-Carmona pled guilty Friday to felony hit-and-run causing serious death injury/death, the only charge prosecutors said they could bring in court. Law enforcement said they could not prove that Cruz-Carmona caused the accident or that he was driving while impaired.
A judge handed Cruz-Carmona the maximum sentence of 20-33 months in prison. And with credit for time served, he could be eligible for release in just 14 months, WTVD reported.
What did Beach's family say?
Beach's family believes the sentence, which was the maximum allowed by North Carolina state law, does not bring justice.
"He had no business here in the first place and he should not have been operating a vehicle. He didn't have a license. So therefore he's being treated better than the citizen who's been killed," Cameo Robinson, Beach's mother, told WTVD.
And while Cruz-Carmona's defense attorney argued in court that his client came to America to make a better life for himself, Robinson said she is petitioning for his deportation.
"I'm going to encourage deportation, because he has no business here," she said. "Now that he's committed this horrendous crime, he definitely doesn't deserve to be in America. Because if he wanted to be in America he would have come legally."
"He gets to go home with his two children. He goes home to his wife. My grandson, he doesn't have a father," she exclaimed.