Sunday, August 26, 2007


Illegal Immigrant Charged In Child’s Death

KOTV - 8/22/2007 8:16 PM - Updated 8/23/2007 6:16 AM

Charges are filed in the kicking death of a Coweta toddler. Michael Hernandez was in a Wagoner County district court Wednesday, facing first degree murder charges. He's accused of kicking his girlfriend's 2-year-old son to death. A judge denied Hernandez bond, but the victim's family is concerned his immigration status could change that, because he’s here illegally from Mexico. The News On 6’s Ashli Sims reports the victim's grandmother says she's worried he might be sent back to Mexico before justice can be served.

Kelynn Byrd's grandmother says burying her 2-year-old grandson was the hardest thing she ever had to do.

"He is, he's very beautiful and he was so sweet," said Kelynn’s grandmother Michelle Ebel.

The toddler's life was cut short when he died from blunt chest and abdominal trauma. Police say his mother's boyfriend, Michael Hernandez, was the only one home at the time of the boy's injury. And they say Hernandez confessed to repeatedly kicking Kelynn in the chest.

"Whatever kind of anger that can lead up to someone doing that to a 2-and-a-half-year-old boy is just beyond me," said Ebel.

Hernandez is charged with first degree murder and is now behind bars in the Wagoner County jail. The judge in the case contacted the Mexican consulate, because Hernandez is a Mexican citizen, here illegally. Kelynn's family is afraid that Hernandez could be sent back to Mexico before the American legal system can run its course.

A spokesperson from the Wagoner County district attorney's office told The News On 6 they would fight any extradition or deportation. He says they plan on proceeding to a conviction, and if Hernandez is convicted they intend for him to serve his sentence in Oklahoma.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE, confirms that illegal immigrants would go through the same criminal justice process as anyone else. ICE says they do flag illegal immigrants in state custody, so if they're eligible for bond, they're released into ICE custody instead of back into the community. ICE also added if Hernandez was tried and convicted for the murder of Kelynn Byrd he would serve his sentence first, and then be deported back to Mexico.

Michael Hernandez will be back in court next month for a preliminary hearing.

Watch the video: Charges File In Toddler's Death

Related story:

8/13/2007 Man Accused Of Killing Girlfriend's 2-Year-Old Son

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