Immigrant Who Killed Texas Teacher in Hit-and-Run Crash Was in Country Illegally: Reports

November 25, 2018 Updated: November 26, 2018

A man who was arrested for killing a young teacher in El Paso, Texas, in a hit-and-run crash on Thanksgiving was out on bond for a prior assault charge and appears to be an illegal immigrant, according to local reports.

KFOX in El Paso reported, 24-year-old Joel Velazquez was in the United States illegally and is now being held by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), related to his immigration status. It means he cannot bond out of jail, and if he was legally in the country, his bond would have been set for $125,000.

He was arrested for assault in 2017, but details of that arrest are not clear, according to local news outlets.

In the Thanksgiving crash, Velazquez is facing charges of accident involving death for blowing through a red light. His vehicle hit Amanda “Mandy” Ferguson Weyant as she was walking in a crosswalk in El Paso, WLOS-TV reported.

He then took off from the accident scene, and police found his vehicle abandoned, the WLOS report said.

mandy selfie
In the crash on Thanksgiving, the suspect’s vehicle hit Amanda “Mandy” Ferguson Weyant as she was walking in a crosswalk in El Paso, Texas. (Amanda “Mandy” Ferguson Weyant/Facebook selfie)

Weyant, a sixth-grade teacher at Eastwood Heights Elementary School, was mourned by her family.

“He’s destroyed my family. My daughter, Mandy, was the glue that held my family in place, she was my everything,” said Dan Ferguson, her father, in a statement to WLOS. On the morning of Nov. 24, he was contacted by the fire department, telling him the man who hit his daughter turned himself into custody two days after fleeing the crash.

“I saw where my daughter was hit and where her body was 50 feet from the point of contact. He didn’t even attempt to stop to render aid,” said Ferguson in the report.

“This man, because of his careless actions, has destroyed a complete family,” he added.

Ferguson also said his family learned Velazquez had a criminal history and was in the country illegally.

“It just doesn’t add up, it doesn’t seem to be fair,” said Ferguson of the details about his past and immigration status.

Now, Weyant’s family is seeking justice.

“Everything was perfect in her life and to have it all taken and senselessly destroyed this is something no parent should go through,” her father continued. “She was my world, she was my wife’s best friend but she was my baby girl,” said Ferguson.

Dramatic Shootout Between Illegal Alien, Deputies in Arkansas

More than a week ago, in neighboring Arkansas, an intense shootout between an illegal immigrant and local deputies was captured on video. The suspect, 29-year-old Luis Cobos-Cenobio, opened fire at the deputy during a traffic stop, and it was later revealed in a Fox News report that ICE had also placed a detainer on him.

The suspect is being held in connection with terroristic acts, attempted murder, fleeing, possession of a controlled substance, and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Cobos-Cenobio allegedly told police he “wanted to die,” local reports said. The incident occurred on Nov. 14.