Oft-deported immigrant charged in DUI case will not be retried

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - An oft-deported immigrant who was charged in a DUI, hit-and-run crash that injured a young boy in the South Bay will not be tried for the third time.

A judge ruled Friday to dismiss the case against 39-year-old Constantino Banda Acosta. Banda was charged with driving under the influence and fleeing the scene of a hit-and-run on Camino de la Plaza in San Ysidro on May 6, 2017.

Investigators said Banda ran a stop sign and crashed his pickup truck into the Lake family’s Honda Accord, as they were heading home from Disneyland. Lennox Lake, 7, was injured in the back seat of the car, suffering serious head injuries.

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While the judge said they want the person responsible for the crash to held accountable, there is no definitive evidence of who was driving the pickup truck at the time of the crash.

Banda's lawyers have argued that Jorge Adame Ariza, also an undocumented immigrant from Mexico, may have been driving the truck after a night of drinking with Banda. Adame said he switched seats, though, with Banda behind the wheel at the time of the crash.

The judge had declared a mistrial in Banda's retrial earlier in the week.

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Banda has been deported from the U.S. at least 15 times in the past.

In a statement to 10News, Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials said Banda is currently facing federal re-entry charges:

"On May 8, 2017, ICE lodged a detainer with the San Diego Sheriff’s Office on Constantino Banda-Acosta, a citizen of Mexico illegally present in the U.S., after his arrest for DUI. DHS records indicate that Banda-Acosta has been removed to Mexico more than 10 times between 2002 and 2017. He is currently facing federal criminal re-entry charges in the Southern District of California."

The Sheriff's Department told 10News it had notified Immigration and Customs Enforcement personnel that Banda would be released from Sheriff's custody in compliance with Senate Bill 54. 

Banda was released around 5:30 p.m. downtown. The San Diego Sheriff's Department confirms he was released from their custody and is now in federal custody.

Banda is currently facing federal charges for criminal re-entry into the U.S. 

 

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