- The Washington Times - Thursday, September 8, 2005

A family of nine illegal aliens in Baltimore has been given a temporary reprieve from deportation to Mexico while two of its members await a new trial in the beheadings of three children.

Held in jail without bond and awaiting a second murder trial are Policarpio Espinoza Perez, 23, uncle of the three children, and their cousin, Adan Canela, 18. If convicted, both men could face life in prison.

Also awaiting the second trial, which begins March 1, are the remaining seven family members of the children and accused men. Because they are illegal aliens, they have special visas, called probations, that allow their attendance and participation in the trial, but could result in their deportation after the second trial concludes.

“They are illegal if they stay beyond that time allowed for trial,” said Ernestine Fabbs, public information officer in the Office of Detention and Removal of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. She called the end of parole “out of status.”

“My understanding is that they will be allowed to remain in the country until the trial is over,” said Nicholas Panteleakis, attorney for Mr. Perez, 23, uncle of the three slain children.

The family members are trying to return to as much of a semblance of their normal lifestyle as possible, he said.

“They were given work authorization during the process of the trial,” Miss Fabbs said.

Victor Espinoza Perez, known as the father of the family, operates a business selling food from trucks. He is the father of Mr. Canela, and the brother of Mr. Perez.

Mr. Perez and Mr. Canela have been held without bond since Aug. 30 when a jury was unable to agree unanimously on a verdict after deliberating 11 days, following a trial of nearly two months.

Assistant State’s Attorney Sharon R. Holback said yesterday that the prosecution is ready for the second trial, which will be conducted before Circuit Court Judge John F. Glynn.

The two men are charged with conspiracy and three counts of murder in the deaths on May 27, 2004, of Alexis Espejo Quezada, 10, Lucero Solis Quezada, 8, and her brother Ricardo Solis Quezada Jr., 9. Mr. Canela was their cousin.

The children were found after school inside a family apartment in Northwest Baltimore. Their necks had been slashed so severely that only thin slices of flesh connected their heads to their bodies. Videos of the bodies and the murder scene caused several jurors to cry.

No clear-cut motive was established in the trial. Defense attorneys suggested the children were slain at the command of someone who had not been paid $2,500 apiece for arranging for the illegal entry into the United States of the families from Tenenexpan, Mexico.

Most family members expressed doubts that Mr. Canela and Mr. Perez committed the killings.The family members, who had gone to Mexico for the funerals, were granted visa extensions, called paroles, to remain in Baltimore until the end of the trial. Because family members were still in Baltimore, attorneys presumed paroles were extended for the second trial.

Copyright © 2019 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

The Washington Times Comment Policy

The Washington Times welcomes your comments on Spot.im, our third-party provider. Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.


Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide