DUI Suspect bonds out of jail, released from immigration hold

DUI Suspect bonds out of jail, released from immigration hold
Published: Feb. 18, 2016 at 10:22 PM EST|Updated: Apr. 3, 2016 at 10:27 PM EDT
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Chelsea Hogue (Source: Family photo)
Chelsea Hogue (Source: Family photo)
Immigration attorney Jeffrey McClain (Source: WAVE 3 News)
Immigration attorney Jeffrey McClain (Source: WAVE 3 News)
Attorney Martin Pohl (Source: WAVE 3 News)
Attorney Martin Pohl (Source: WAVE 3 News)

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Chelsea Hogue, 23, was an adventurous University of Louisville student who was studying to become a nurse. Now, she is in a coma fighting for her life.

Hogue and her friend Meghan Lake were driving on Taylorville Road at Breckenridge Lane on Feb. 7 when Louisville Metro police said Jose Munoz Aguilar, 32, crashed into their car.

Police said Aguilar was drunk at the time of the crash, which also injured Lake. On Thursday, Lake's attorney, Martin Pohl, said she was conscious and will need several surgeries.

"Hopefully justice is served for the two families involved," Pohl said.

Aguilar walked out of the courthouse on Thursday after prosecutors asked for his bond to be increased to $100,000. The prosecution asked his assault charges be changed to assault in the first degree. They also added charges for wanton endangerment and criminal mischief. By law, the defense has to be given a written notice to increase the bond amount. The prosecution asked for bond to be increased because of the severity of Hogue's injuries.

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Aguilar bonded out of jail on Feb. 10 and was released by Metro Corrections to the Oldham County Jail, where they held him on an U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detainer.

Just one day later, Aguilar was released from ICE's custody. In a statement, ICE said they released him because he had "No prior significant misdemeanor or felony conviction record." They continued, "He does not currently meet ICE enforcement priorities."

"I've never seen ICE be reckless in that regard where they'll just cut someone lose," Immigration attorney Jeffrey McClain said.

McClain does not represent Aguilar, but said ICE keeps close tabs on someone with a criminal case. He said immigration officials must have him under close watch. Sometimes they will make the person wear an ankle bracelet. If the person decides to flee, the Marshal's office would also be involved. The person would then be facing federal charges as well for evading a federal agency. He added that ICE does not typically deport someone if they have a criminal case pending in the states.

"Often ICE would rather have them go through the criminal process because otherwise they could deport them right out from underneath authorities and then the person gets, basically gets out Scot-clean," McClain said.

Pohl said believes the justice system will work things out.

"The crimes were committed here so I think that it's only right that the family gets justice here in Louisville, Kentucky," Pohl said.

WAVE 3 News attempted to talk to Aguilar and his criminal attorney during the hearing Thursday. Both declined to comment. We also reached out to Aguilar's immigration attorney who did not return our call.

Aguilar is also accused of driving without a license. According to the arrest report, he was twice the legal limit.

"Subject told officers he had five or six beers, but then said more like 10 or 12 alcoholic beers were consumed by him," the arrest report states.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement also indicated that Aguilar would be deported if convicted and after he serves time.

"ICE will continue to monitor this case; if he's convicted of the pending charges - and after he serves any sentence imposed - ICE will take Munoz-Aguilar into custody in order to remove him from the United States."

Aguilar is expected back in court in March 7.

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