Saturday, February 17, 2007
LEANNA NEWMAN & UNBORN CHILD
SALISBURY, N.C. — An illegal immigrant charged in connection with a deadly wreck last week had been arrested in Rowan County under at least six different names.
The man who federal investigators identified as 33-year-old Carlos Alfonso Guillen Martinez, but was identified the night of the crash as Kannapolis resident Rigo Verto Guillen Martinez, was taken into custody Wednesday night upon his release from the hospital.
On Feb. 6, police said Martinez, an illegal immigrant from El Salvador, was speeding and driving erratically when his Jeep collided head-on with a car driven by 20-year-old Leanna Newman, who was eight-months pregnant. She and her unborn child died, and her 1-year-old daughter was rescued from the wreck with minor injuries.
Martinez appeared before Rowan County Judge Bill Kluttz Thursday morning through the jail camera system. Martinez was in a wheelchair and was being assisted by an interpreter. He is charged with driving while impaired and second-degree murder. Both have a maximum sentence of 41 years in jail, but if convicted, Martinez could serve more because he has a prior record.
According to court records, Martinez has been arrested under at least six aliases on charges such as DWI, resisting arrest, driving with license revoked and assault on an officer. The Rowan County district attorney said they will have to do fingerprint matches to determine Martinez’s entire criminal record.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents said Wednesday that Martinez had been deported twice before, in 1997 and 1998.
If it is determined that the child, already named Bianca Cheynne, was born alive and then died, Martinez could face another murder charge.