05/02/06 — Driver will be deported in November

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Driver will be deported in November

By Jack Stephens
Published in News on May 2, 2006 1:55 PM

The driver who struck two eighth-grade students last fall will be deported later this year to his native Guatemala, a Wayne County Superior Court judge said Monday.

Wilder Fidelmar Mejia Alvarado, who lives on Bennett's Bridge Road in Duplin County, had pleaded guilty to two felony counts of assault with a deadly weapon inflicting serious injury. He served two consecutive 75-day sentences and was released April 17 from the Wayne County Jail. He also was placed on 48 months of supervised probation.

The 24-year-old Mejia Alvarado, an illegal alien, will remain on electronic house arrest until Oct. 31. Then he will report on his own the next day to federal Immigration Court in Atlanta.

District Attorney Branny Vickory said federal Immi-gration and Customs Enforce-ment officers will not pick him up. Instead, it will be left to him to get to Atlanta.

If Mejia Alvarado fails to report and is arrested, Judge Jerry Braswell of Goldsboro ordered that Mejia Alvarado be held in lieu of a $100,000 secured bond.

Braswell also eased some restrictions on the defendant, allowing him five hours a day to look for work and four hours on Sunday to attend church, at the request of defense lawyer Robert M. Smith of Goldsboro.

Braswell ordered that Mejia Alvarado must stay in Duplin County, live with the mother of his child, pay child support and provide written evidence each week to probation officers that he is looking for work.

Vickory said ICE officers decided not to pick him up in April because there were only seven beds in Atlanta for people from eastern North Carolina and the defendants could be kept for only 72 hours.

The two 13-year-old students -- Mackenzie Wessels and Carson Thomas -- were struck at about 7:30 a.m. Nov. 18, 2005, as they used the green walk light to cross East Ash Street between Meadow Lane Elementary and Greenwood Middle schools.

Wessels and Thomas were critically injured. They were rushed by ambulance to Wayne Memorial Hospital, then stabilized and transferred to Pitt County Memorial Hospital in Greenville. Wessels was released in about a week. Thomas remained for a much longer time before returning home.

Mejia Alvarado was working the late shift at Mission Foods. He lost his job and was detained in jail until April 3, when he was sentenced, because he could not post a $200,000 secured bond.