- The Washington Times - Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Three illegal immigrants were arraigned Tuesday on charges related to the killing of a 17-year-old high school student in Loudoun County, adding to growing concern about violent crimes being committed by people in the United States illegally.

A 17-year-old, whose name has not been released because he is a juvenile, is charged with first-degree murder in the case. Two men, 20-year-old Henry Ernesto Dominguez-Vasquez and 18-year-old Juan Moises Aguirre Zelaya, are both charged with firearm possession by an unlawful alien and accessory after the fact to homicide.

Authorities have released few details about the shooting, that took the life of Danny Centeno Miranda, a student at Park View High School. Mr. Centeno Miranda, who had reportedly left El Salvador in 2013 to escape violence there to live with relatives in Sterling, Virginia, was shot and killed Friday morning while walking to a bus stop.

A spokesman with the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office confirmed that all three of the suspects in the case are “undocumented” immigrants. The juvenile charged is from Mexico and the two adults are from El Salvador, said spokesman Kraig Troxell. He was unable to confirm the immigration status of the victim.

It was unclear whether the three people charged in connection with Mr. Centeno Miranda’s death had prior contacts with local law enforcement or Immigrations and Customs Enforcement. Officials from ICE did not respond to inquiries about both Mr. Dominguez-Vasquez and Mr. Zelaya.

In fiscal 2014, ICE released from custody 30,558 illegal immigrants who had criminal records. This summer, the agency reported that 121 immigrants it turned loose while awaiting deportation from 2010 to 2014 went on to be charged with homicide while out on release.

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The fatal shooting of Kathryn Steinle this summer on a San Francisco pier led to criticism of both local and federal agencies’ handling of illegal immigrants. Authorities have arrested a seven-time convicted felon who was in the U.S. illegally from Mexico and charged him in Steinle’s death.

The 32-year-old’s family has filed legal claims against San Francisco, ICE and U.S. Bureau of Land Management — blaming each for negligence that contributed to Steinle’s death. Meanwhile, San Francisco’s status as a so-called “sanctuary city” for illegal immigrants has come under attack, due to local law enforcement’s refusal to cooperate with federal authorities who were working to deport serious criminals.

Loudoun County has been less welcoming to illegal immigrants, in 2007 passing a resolution meant to limit illegal immigrants’ access to county services.

Despite that, more than 300 unaccompanied migrant children seeking asylum in the United States have been absorbed by Loudoun County over the last two years as a wave of children streamed across the Mexican border into the country. Data from the U.S. Office of Refugee Resettlement lists 367 children as having been released to sponsors in Loudoun County between January of 2014 and July of this year.

Burke Walker, an attorney appointed to represent Mr. Dominguez-Vasquez, said Tuesday he had few details about the case as he had yet to meet with his client or to obtain case documents from the Commonwealth Attorney’s Office. An attorney for Mr. Zelaya did not return calls for comment.

All three of the defendants in the case remain held in custody, according to Mr. Troxell. The two adult defendants have preliminary hearings set for November 5, according to online court records.

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The Loudoun Commonwealth Attorney’s Office declined Tuesday to provide details on the juvenile’s case status. Over the weekend, Commonwealth Attorney James Plowman said he intends to try the 17-year-old as an adult.

Officials have not commented on the motive in the shooting, indicating that the homicide remains under investigation and that additional arrests are possible.

• Andrea Noble can be reached at anoble@washingtontimes.com.

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