20-year-old Jorge Ruiz, an illegal alien from Mexico, was convicted of killing Marlena Hayes in a car crash on October 28, 2018.
Ruiz had spent all night at a party and was driving home when he crossed the median line and hit a car head-on carrying Hayes, killing her instantly as she was driving home after completing her shift. Ruiz had been drinking at the party and when he was tested for alcohol, he was barely under the legal limit.
The conviction of Ruiz was unusual in one sense because many times illegal aliens are deported before they are sentenced to prison and the person responsible for the death returns home to their family, without ever seeing the inside of a prison.
According to the Clanton Advertiser, Ruiz worked a construction shift on October 27, 2018 before leaving to drive to a party in Birmingham that night. Early in the morning the following day, the illegal alien drove to his home in Autauga County.
Around the same time, Hayes was driving home after working a shift at the Prattville Baptist Hospital. After only 10 minutes of driving, Ruiz drove across the lane of the highway and struck Hayes head-on, killing her instantly. Ruiz was speeding, had not slept that night, and his blood-alcohol level was just below the legal limit.
Hayes leaves behind her parents, her sister, her brother, grandparents, as well as other family members and friends.
Ruiz’s conviction is notable as state officials are not always successful in making sure that charged illegal aliens are not deported before they are tried for their alleged crimes. In the case of 22-year-old Pierce Corcoran, the illegal alien charged with his death was deportedto his native Guatemala after being released on a $3,500 bond.