12/01/05 — Driver will face felony counts

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Driver will face felony counts

By Kenneth Fine
Published in News on December 1, 2005 1:50 PM

Two felony counts have been filed against the man who allegedly struck two boys with a sports utility vehicle across from Greenwood Middle School Nov. 18 as questions about his identity continue.

"Luis Delgado Jesus," was charged today with two counts of assault with a deadly weapon inflicting serious injury by the Goldsboro Police Department, after the incident that left eighth-graders Carson Thomas and Mackenzie Wessels hospitalized.

Wessels was recently released from Pitt Memorial Hospital. Thomas remains in critical condition.

Assistant District Attorney Rusty Perlungher said the new charges are Class E felonies and could lead to jail time.

The minimum sentence for assault with a deadly weapon inflicting serious injury is 15 months per count, with a 47-month maximum, Perlungher said. Active jail time for these convictions would be based on the defendant's previous record and the judge's discretion, he added.

The man identified as "Jesus" is currently being held at the Wayne County Jail under a $200,000 secured bond, increased from first, $1,500, and then $5,500, since his arrest. Law enforcement officials say they will not release him until his identity has been confirmed.

He still faces charges previously filed by police, including reckless driving, driving with a revoked license and expired registration.

Reports that "Jesus" used a fictious name are currently being investigated by local law enforcement officials, in a joint effort with the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, an arm of the Department of Homeland Security.

ICE spokesman Julie Zuieback said Monday local officials have made contact with the agency to determine the driver's name and country of residence. While there is no current information regarding the man's identity or citizenship status, she said, an investigation into the matter is under way.

Eyewitnesses said the traffic light had been red for a number of seconds when the two students started to cross the street in front of the school. They added that the oncoming white sport utility vehicle, which was allegedly driven by the suspect, did not slow down.