Prairie State Wire

Prairie State Wire

Monday, December 9, 2019

Bail reduction hearing date set for Jose Rodriguez, man in country illegally charged with hit-and-run death of Normal’s Corey Cottrell


By W.J. Kennedy | Jul 31, 2019

Corey Cottrell (left), Jose Rodriguez (right)

An Aug. 8 bond reduction hearing has been set for Jose Rodriguez, 27, the man in the United States illegally who has been charged in the hit-and-run accident that killed 39-year-old Normal resident Corey Cottrell on June 22. 

The hearing is scheduled before McLean County Judge Scott Drazewski, who was assigned the case on Monday after Rodriguez’s lawyer, Chris Gramm, won his motion for a new judge.

The previous Judge, William Yoder, set bail at $1 million on July 12, and to relief of the Cottrell family, Rodriguez has been in the McLean County Detention Facility in Bloomington ever since.

But Cottrell family spokesperson Cheryl Wendland told Prairie State Wire that they were concerned that if bail were reduced Rodriguez would make bail and flee – possibly back to his native Honduras.

An official with Immigration and Customs and Enforcement (ICE) who asked not to be identified said that if Rodriguez is released on reduced bail than ICE agents would be waiting for him, if they can get there in time.

“But McLean didn’t honor the detainer the first time around so it could go either way,” the official said.

The official added that ICE filed an updated detainer on Rodriguez after its original June 23 detainer was ignored. Rodriquez made bail on June 25 – a lower bail set before the Yoder bail hearing – and was released without ICE ever knowing.

In 2017, former Gov. Bruce Rauner, a Republican, signed the Trust Act, restricting law enforcement from contacting ICE if they have an illegal immigrant in custody. A spokesman for the Bloomington Police Department said they never ask a suspect in a crime about their citizenship status.

Meanwhile, Corey’s former wife, Violet Hinojosa Cottrell, has filed a lawsuit against Rodriguez and his uncle, German Javier Rodriguez, the owner of GR Framing Construction Inc., which owns the van that allegedly struck Corey. The Pantagraph reports that the lawsuit is seeking damages in excess of $50,000, and notes that Rodriguez never had a valid driver’s license even though he’s been in the country for five years. Corey left two young daughters behind.

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