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Judge declares mistrial for undocumented immigrant charged in DUI crash

Mistrial declared in immigrant DUI case
Posted at 5:08 PM, Mar 19, 2018

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - A judge declared a mistrial Monday in the retrial of an undocumented immigrant accused of being the driver in a San Ysidro, California hit-and-run crash which seriously injured a young boy.

Constantino Banda Acosta was charged with the crash  on May 6, 2017.

Investigators said Banda ran a stop sign and crashed his pickup truck into the Lake family’s Honda Accord.

6-year-old Lennox Lake was in a child safety seat at the back of the car. He suffered serious head injuries.

Banda left the scene but was arrested about two miles away after Border Patrol agents spotted his damaged truck parked on a street, police said.

During Banda's first trial, his passenger, Jorge Adame Ariza, also an undocumented immigrant from Mexico, testified under a grant of immunity during the defendant's two-day preliminary hearing in June that he and Banda had a number of beers that night before the accident.

Adame said Banda got into a fight with another man outside a Chula Vista restaurant. Adame told them he picked up Banda but later moved into the passenger seat with Banda behind the wheel during the crash.

San Diego police Officer Michael Muniz testified in the first trial that Banda's blood-alcohol content measured .151 and .152 percent -- the legal limit is .08 -- during two breathalyzer tests.

Federal immigration officials said Banda has been deported from the United States at least 15 times over the past 15 years, most recently on January 18.

A judge will decide Friday whether a third trial will take place.