Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Bushwhacker Salon Killer Miguel Mateos-Martinez Extradited From Mexico, Back In Utah To Face Justice

Update April 12th, 2011: Miguel Mateos-Martinez sentenced to life in prison without parole; updated post HERE.

The second person involved in the murder of Faviola Hernandez at the Bushwhacker Salon is finally back in custody in Utah. Miguel Mateos-Martinez was extradited from Mexico and was returned to the custody of Utah authorities to face justice. Media stories published by the Deseret News, the Salt Lake Tribune, and KSL Channel 5.

Review previous posts on August 16th, 2007 and August 17th, 2007 for more background. Faviola Hernandez' family has been waiting a long time for justice. KSL video embedded below:


Video Courtesy of KSL.com



On August 15th, 2007, while his playmate Jesus Jimenez waited outside in the getaway vehicle, Mateos-Martinez entered the Bushwhacker Hair & Tanning salon, at 1329 W. California Ave., and shot salon owner Faviola Hernandez. Both Jimenez and Mateos-Martinez then escaped. But while Jimenez was quickly apprehended, Mateos-Martinez, who is an illegal alien, escaped to Mexico.

In June 2008, a jury found Jimenez guilty of murder and aggravated robbery, both first-degree felonies. The jury also found Jimenez eligible for an enhanced penalty for use of a firearm in a crime. In September, he was sentenced to 21 years in prison.

Meanwhile, Mateos-Martinez was nabbed by U.S. marshals without incident in Ensenada, Mexico in July 2008. He was held in a Mexico City prison until the extradition. To faciliate the extradition from Mexico, Utah prosecutors agreed to not pursue the death penalty; Mexico normally won't extradite murder suspects unless the death penalty's off the table. Prosecutors will instead seek life without parole on a charge of aggravated murder. On December 26th, Mateos-Martinez made his first court appearance. Judge Kate Toomey appointed the Legal Defenders Office to represent him. The judge also issued a no-contact protective order against Mateos-Martinez on behalf of Rosa Hernandez, the victim's daughter, and her family. His next scheduled court date is Jan. 9. Mateos-Martinez remains in the Salt Lake County Jail on no-bail immigration and marshals detainers and $1 million bail on the murder charge.

U.S. Marshals are permitted to track down escaped suspects and convicts in Mexico under a program developed between the marshal's office and Mexican authorities, who are the equivalent of the Mexican FBI. It resulted in a task force being created to help state and local agencies that don't have the resources to work cases in which the suspects flee to another country. But the marshals still have to turn them over to Mexican authorities until extradition.

The program is bearing fruit. Last year, the marshal's service extradited about 850 wanted felons from Mexico and expected to reach about 1,000 this year. That's compared to the year 2000, when approximately 150 people were extradited. Even Mexican nationals are being extradited more easily from Mexico into the United State to face charges under the new working agreement. Likewise, if there are Mexican nationals in the U.S. wanted in their home country, the agreement allows for those people to also be returned quickly.

In a perverse way, it's a shame we had to bring this illegal alien back. If convicted, we'll be housing and feeding him at American taxpayer expense for the rest of his life.

We can only hope one of his fellow cons will shorten his life and save us money.

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