Bail Reduced for Migrant Who Allegedly Killed Cop

( – An illegal immigrant accused of killing a Washington state trooper while driving dangerously has had his bail slashed by 90%. A liberal judge agreed the suspect isn’t a flight risk, and cut the original million-dollar figure. The controversial decision has outraged the victim’s family.

On March 2, Raul Benitez Santana, an illegal immigrant from Mexico who’s been in the US for over ten years, was driving south on Interstate 5 about 40 miles north of Seattle, Washington. The 33-year-old, who later admitted having smoked marijuana and drunk beer the night before, was traveling at up to 112 mph and driving erratically when he swerved onto the hard shoulder and hit a parked state police cruiser, killing 27-year-old Trooper Christopher Gadd.

Although his lawyers argued the crash wasn’t his fault because Gadd didn’t have his vehicle lights on, police charged Santana with vehicular assault and vehicular homicide, and jailed him. His bail was set at $1 million.

However, his lawyers then stepped in and filed motions to reduce the bail. They claim Santana isn’t a flight risk, and has a job and three children. On May 17, Snohomish County Superior Court Judge Richard Okrent agreed with them, cutting his bail to just $100,000.

The defendant’s lawyers said the judge “did the right thing.” However, Gadd’s widow Cammryn blasted the decision, saying that as well as treating the crime as less serious it would “inflict further anguish and distress” on her and her family.

The good news is that even with the reduced bail amount Santana, who has a string of previous convictions for driving violations, can’t pay it; as of May 24, he’s still in the Snohomish County Jail. Immigration and Customs Enforcement have also issued an immigration detainer against him; if he manages to get out of jail there’s a chance he could be detained by federal immigration agents, and potentially deported back to Mexico.

Copyright 2024,