Prairie State Wire

Prairie State Wire

Saturday, December 14, 2019

Hit-and-run driver charged with killing Normal’s Corey Cottrell a step closer to deportation, not prosecution


By W.J. Kennedy | Aug 16, 2019

Corey Cottrell (left), Jose Rodriguez (right)

A McClean County judge increased the likelihood that Jose Rodriguez, 27, the immigrant in the country illegally charged in the June 22 hit-and-run death of Normal’s Corey Cottrell, 39, will be deported before facing prosecution.

At today’s status hearing on the case, Judge Scott Drazewski scheduled another status hearing for Sept. 11. This is not a trial date, since Rodriguez was not in attendance. He’s being held in the Immigration and Customs Enforcement detention facility in Dodge County, Wisconsin. ICE officers picked up Rodriquez last Saturday, Aug. 10, when he was released from the McClean County Detention Center on reduced bail set by Drazewski on Aug. 8.

State’s Attorney Don Knapp told Prairie State Wire prior to today's hearing that his office was going to ask the judge to set a trial date as quickly as possible in hopes of prosecuting Rodriguez before ICE deported him.

“We are hoping to get one in September since the August court dates are full,” Knapp said.

Knapp said that ICE told him the deportation process can take anywhere from a couple of weeks to six months.

The most serious of the three charges against Rodriquez, leaving the scene of an accident where a death occurred, is a Class 1 felony punishable by up to 15 years in prison.

ICE released a statement Aug. 13 saying that Rodriquez remains in the agency’s custody “pending his removal to Honduras.”

“In general, aliens in ICE custody who are in the process of being criminally prosecuted by local law enforcement may be 'writted' back to local custody,” the statement read. “However, if all other removal documentation is complete, for Constitutional reasons, while removable aliens are in ICE custody, ICE must effect their removal or voluntary departure without further delay.”

The lower bond amount of $100,000 set by Drazewski was met by Rodriguez on June 25. Another judge, William Yoder, set the bond at $1 million on July 12, and ordered Rodriguez held. But Drazewski reverted the bond to the original amount when he replaced Yoder on the case.

Corey Cottrell left his mother, a sister and two young daughters behind. Corey’s ex-wife has filed a wrongful death action in the case.

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