Washington state judge lowers bail for illegal immigrant accused in state trooper's death

A 32-year-old illegal immigrant faces charges of vehicular assault and vehicular homicide involving alcohol or drugs for the March crash that killed Trooper Christopher M Gadd, whose widow objected to the suspect's potential release.

Washington state judge lowers bail for illegal immigrant accused in state trooper's death
Everett Herald
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A state judge in Washington has reduced the bail for Raul Benitez Santana, a 32-year-old illegal immigrant from Mexico, who is accused of causing the death of Washington State Patrol Trooper Christopher M. Gadd in a crash earlier this year.

Santana's bail was lowered from $1 million to $100,000 by Snohomish County Superior Court Judge Richard Okrent last week, despite objections from the fallen trooper's widow.

Santana faces charges of vehicular assault and vehicular homicide involving alcohol or drugs in connection with the March incident that claimed the life of 27-year-old Trooper Gadd. The crash occurred on southbound I-5 near Marysville when an SUV, allegedly driven by Santana at a high speed, veered off the roadway and struck Gadd's parked patrol vehicle.

In a letter to the judge, Cammryn Gadd, the trooper's widow, expressed her opposition to Santana's potential release, stating that reducing bail would "undermine the severity of the crime" and "inflict further anguish and distress" upon her, their child and their family.

According to court documents obtained by FOX13 in Seattle, Santana allegedly had bloodshot eyes and admitted to consuming alcohol and marijuana before driving on the night of the incident. An Immigration and Customs Enforcement official confirmed that Santana is a Mexican citizen who entered the U.S. unlawfully at an unknown date and time. Following his arrest, ICE placed an immigration detainer on Santana.

Santana's defense attorneys are now concerned that if he posts bail, federal authorities may arrest and deport him from the country.

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