Magistrate Judge Leslie A. Bowman, 15 lawyers, Federal Prosecutor Christopher Lewis
Observers; 2 GV Sams, Natasha Arnpriester and one other.
There were 71 migrants including 7 women. 41 were charged with only the misdemeanor of illegal entry and 28 had that and the felony illegal reentry. This judge does not mention country of origin or where a migrant entered the country. 3 men said they had entered the country more than 10 days before they were arrested.
11 migrants were in the first group and all were dismissed—mostly for language—except two. ..
*Teodoro Castro Urias 17-30777M (lawyer Darlene Chavez) was continued until 12/13.
*Sebastian Lopez Perez 17-30833M (lawyer Lee Tucker) refused the plea bargain and will be tried only on the felony. If he is convicted this will result in a much longer sentence. If he wins his chances to enter the US legally in the future will be better.
*Martha Ramirez Pablo 17-30808MP (lawyer Myrla Garcia) expressed credible fear.
The rest of the defendants were seen in groups of 7. Of the 41 people charged only with 1325, 10 had been dismissed and another was dismissed during the proceedings. One man was sentenced to 10 days.
*Floriberto Garcia Serrato17-30798MP (lawyer Ron Reyna) had served 18 months in 2014 and was arrested this month shortly after reentry. He said he had 3 citizen children in Illinois and was on his way to see them. Mr. Lewis asked for a greater sentence than ‘time served’. The Judge Bowman gave him 10 days and told him that having such a light sentence was not the way sentencing usually goes and if he entered again he would be in real danger of much more time in prison.
*Bilda Ascensio Martinez 17-30800MP (lawyer Luis Parra) mentioned asylum.
Two migrants were extremely confused and were seen alone at the end of the calendar. *Wilmer Alexi Lopez Escobar 17-30855MP (lawyer Saul Huerta) kept repeating Culpable. The judge had him sit with his lawyer for a while and then finally saw him alone at the end. His lawyer said that Mr. Lopez, from Guatemala, was nervous and traumatized by his ordeal. The judge took her questions apart and bit by bit—defendant, lawyer and judge with oversight from Mr. Lewis—they got through the questions. Time Served.
*Virginia Escobar 17-30856MP (lawyer Grace Goodman) was also seen alone at the end. She had been afraid of disclosing she was a Mam speaker and also does not read or write. Her lawyer said she is very young, not well educated and very scared. In consultation with Mr. Lewis her case was dismissed.
Of the 28 plea cases—1325,1326—2 had been dismissed and 2 continued in the first group. *Alfonso Aguilar Perez 17-30829M (lawyer Myrna Beards) was very confused and kept answering culpable. The judge decided not to go forward and continued until 12/13 for a Mam interpreter.
23 migrants were given 1535 days or more than 4 years at a cost of $247,135—mostly benefitting private prisons.
- Katrina Schumacher