Illegal immigrant a no-show in court
August 17, 2015
An illegal immigrant whom the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Office recently let out of jail did not appear Thursday at his first court appearance for the alleged near-fatal beating of a 2-year-old girl.
Francisco Chavez, 27, is accused of nearly beating to death the young daughter of his live-in girlfriend. The two-year-old reportedly suffered a broken leg, two broken arms, a compressed spine, bruises and a urinary tract infection. She was in the hospital with a 107-degree fever days following the beating.
On Thursday, after Chavez failed to appear, Judge Dodie Harman ordered a warrant for his arrest with bail set at $600,000.
Chavez is a Mexican national with an extensive criminal history that includes convictions for drug trafficking and assault with a deadly weapon. He was deported from the United States last year following a drunk driving conviction in San Luis Obispo County.
Paso Robles police arrested Chavez on July 30 and booked him in San Luis Obispo County Jail. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) then issued a detainer request.
But, on the following day, Chavez posted $100,000 bail, the required amount for a charge of willful harm or injury to a child likely to produce great bodily injury. The sheriff’s office then released him from jail.
Following Chavez’s release, Sheriff Ian Parkinson said the law prohibits sheriffs from holding inmates on ICE detainers unless federal authorities issue warrants for them. Parkinson appeared on a Fox News broadcast last week in which the interviewer reported that Parkinson said he would have gotten sued by the ACLU had he honored the ICE detainer for Chavez.
Nonetheless, Chavez’s bail could have been set for $1 million had he been charged with a similar, yet more serious crime. The bail schedule is $1 million for a charge of assault of child under the age of 8 with force likely to cause great bodily injury.
Prosecutors have now charged Chavez with two counts of corporal punishment or injury of a child and five counts of willful harm or injury to a child likely to produce great bodily injury.
A Fox News article accompanying the television interview states Parkinson said he suspects Chavez may have already fled the country.
A similar case in Santa Barbara County is also receiving national exposure. Victor Aureliano Martinez Ramirez, also an illegal immigrant with an extensive criminal history, is charged with the rape, torture and murder of 64-year-old Santa Maria woman Marilyn Pharis.
Ramirez allegedly broke into Pharis’s home and attacked her on July 25. Ramirez was released from custody just five days prior to the alleged murder.