Driver's identity released by lawyer
By Kenneth Fine
Published in News on December 6, 2005 1:54 PM
Luis Delgado Jesus, 23, is really Wilder Fidelmar Alvarado Mejia, 20, his attorney announced in a press release Monday.
Mejia was arrested Nov. 18 after allegedly running a red light and hitting two boys with a sports utility vehicle outside of Greenwood Middle School. When he was first arrested and identified as "Luis Delgado Jesus," Mejia was charged with numerous misdemeanor traffic offenses.
Charges against him were later upgraded to two felony counts of assault with a deadly weapon while inflicting serious injury, and his secured bond was increased by Magistrate W.B. Buchanan from $5,500 to $200,000.
At that time, questions were also raised about Mejia's identity.
Robert Smith is an attorney with Smith and Strickland, one of the law firms representing Mejia.
He said he does not know how the name ended up on the police report.
"We're not sure how they (police) ascertained that name," Smith said. "It is our impression that he did not give the name 'Luis Delgado Jesus.'"
Smith added the name might have come from documents located inside the vehicle involved in the accident.
Police listed six aliases on the report -- Luis Miguel Delgado DeJesus, Fernandez Torres, Wilder Mejia, Crescencio Mejia, Luis Delgado and Jose Antonio Figuera.
Until his identity can be verified, Mejia will remain in jail, authorities said.
According to the press release issued by the law firm, Mejia, 20, has a Guatemalan passport and identification documents that will be forwarded to the district attorney's office for review.
District Attorney Branny Vickory said he has seen no such documents since the Nov. 18 arrest.
In fact, he just received the press release announcing Mejia's identity Monday.
He added that he was not the person who determined under whose name the charges would be filed.
"This office didn't charge him, the police department did," Vickory said. "And they put that name on their report."
Vickory added that at this point, he has received no information confirming or denying the name or citizenship status of the driver.
"I have not seen a passport," Vickory said.
Mejia made no comments regarding his name or the incorrect identification during his Nov. 21 first appearance. He did indicate that he had already hired an attorney to represent him.
Smith did not comment on why it took so long for Mejia to provide the documentation or why the district attorney was not notified immediately about the incorrect name.
He also said his office could not confirm Mejia's citizenship status or his correct address.
Smith claimed the false identification might be attributed to an alleged lack of Spanish-speaking police officers at the accident scene and the fact that Mejia does not speak English.
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