WEEDSPORT, NY - Heriberto Perez-Velasquez, 31, has pleaded guilty to aggravated vehicular homicide, aggravated driving while intoxicated, reckless driving, and unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle, in the crash that took the life of 59-year Mark Knapp, last year.
On November 10, 2019, Perez-Velasquez crashed into a compact tractor being driven by Knapp along Route 31. Knapp was thrown from the vehicle upon impact and died at the scene.
The illegal alien's BAC was almost three times the legal limit when he was taken into custody.
CNY Central reported:
At the time, investigators say Perez-Velasquez ran from the crash but was caught nearby by deputies with the help of a passerby. After his arrest, deputies confirmed that Perez-Velasquez was an undocumented immigrant from Guatemala and had another pending charge for Aggravated Driving While intoxicated in Wayne County 24 days prior to the deadly crash. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) criticized state and county leaders for letting Perez-Velasquez go an appearance ticket for the Wayne County crash.
However, he was quickly released under New York's new 'bail reform law.'
In May 2020, the Guatemalan national was also convicted of illegal re-entry, and given an order of deportation, which should take place upon completion of his state sentence.
Perez-Velasquez is scheduled for sentencing on November 24. He faces between seven and 24 years in prison.
Knapp was a retired electrician and left behind a wife, three daughters and a grandson.