A man accused in a fatal hit-and-run on Tuesday is an illegal alien who has been deported at least six times since 2001.
Santa Ana, California police say Ramon Jaime Horta was driving on a suspended license when he allegedly struck and killed 24-year-old Marcello Bisarello, the Orange County Register reports.
Bisarello was sitting on a street curb around 1:00 p.m. in the afternoon when he was struck by a driver of a “swerving” van police say was intoxicated.
He died at the scene while Horta fled and was pursued by a witness. He was apprehended a short time later.
“He has previous DUI convictions so it is possible the charges can be upgraded to second-degree murder if he was given a Watson Advisement,” police Cpl. Anthony Bertagna says, referring to a document a convict signs acknowledging the dangers of drinking and driving.
A witness claims Horta didn’t realize he had hit someone.
“I parked next to him and told him, ‘Hey, stop the car and give me your keys and throw them through the window. You run over a person,’” Cesar Guzman tells ABC 7. “And he was like, ‘What? I didn’t do anything.’ And then after that he actually like stopped the car. He threw the keys through the window.”
According to NBC 4, Horta has a lengthy rap sheet:
Ramon Jaime Horta was convicted in 2001 for sale and possession of a controlled substance and driving on a suspended license, according to Orange County Superior Court records.
He got nine months in jail and was deported by immigration officials.
In 2008, the Santa Ana man pleaded guilty to possession of a controlled substance with intent to sell. He was sentenced to two years in state prison. This happened after he already been deported in 2002 and 2006.
All told, Horta was deported in 2001, 2002, 2006, 2009 and 2012. He was booked into Orange County jail and held in lieu of $100,000 bail, according to the Register.