- The Washington Times - Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Two illegal immigrants charged in connection with the fatal shooting of a 17-year-old high school student in Loudoun County are due in court Thursday for preliminary hearings that could shed further light on the circumstances of the killing.

The case has added to growing concern about violent crimes being committed by people in the United States illegally, and attracted the attention of a U.S. senator who opened a probe into how the men entered the country and their contact with federal law enforcement during their time here.

Henry Ernesto Dominguez-Vasquez, 20, and Juan Moises Aguirre Zelaya, 18, and a third suspect — a 17-year-old boy — are charged in connection with the September killing of Danny Centeno Miranda, 17.

The juvenile, who has not been named, is charged with first-degree murder in the killing, and officials on Monday signed off on putting his case before a grand jury. He is being held at the county’s Juvenile Detention Center.

Mr. Dominguez-Vasquez and Mr. Aguirre Zelaya face lesser charges of firearm possession by an unlawful alien and accessory after the fact to homicide. They are being held without bond at the Loudoun County Adult Detention Center.

Danny was shot and killed while walking to a bus stop before class at Park View High School in Sterling, Virginia. He reportedly had left El Salvador in 2013 to escape violence and was living with relatives in Sterling when he was killed.

The Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office has confirmed that all three suspects are “undocumented” immigrants, with the juvenile hailing from Mexico and the two adults from El Salvador.

Sen. Chuck Grassley, Iowa Republican and chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, launched an investigation into the backgrounds of the murder suspects. He reported that all three of the suspects entered the U.S. illegally as unaccompanied alien children in 2013 and that they had each skipped August court dates related to their immigration status.

“Had these suspects appeared for their mandatory court date, they would have likely not had the opportunity to murder a 17-year-old high school student from Loudoun County,” Mr. Grassley wrote.

Neither a spokeswoman for the Commonwealth’s attorney for Loudoun County nor attorneys representing the two men due in court Thursday would comment on the case.

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