“How could you stab and kill a young woman who caused you no pain?” sobbed Wendy Hartling as she confronted her daughter’s 41-year-old killer before he was sentenced to 60 years in prison. But even the prospect that Jean Jacques, the illegal Haitian immigrant who stabbed 25-year-old Casey Chadwick a dozen times in the face, will die in prison was scant comfort for Wendy.
Because it didn’t have to happen. It could have been avoided.
The Feds had Jean Jacques in custody — three different times — and released him each time back onto the streets.
“Something has to be done,” Wendy keeps saying.
Jean Jacques had killed before. In 1994, he was arrested for the execution style slaying of a Connecticut man and for the attempted murder of his girl friend. Acquitted on a technicality of the murder, he went to prison for 17 years for shooting the woman.
When he was released on probation, the Connecticut State authorities turned Jacques over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), as required by law. But rather than deport him, ICE released him back onto the streets.
But the story doesn’t end there! Once released, Jacques violated probation and was locked up again. Turned over to ICE. And again released!
A third time, the process repeated itself — and ICE let him go again.
Then, five months after his last release, Jacques murdered Casey. So violent was his assault that his knife went through Casey’s neck and came out the other side.
Now Casey is a statistic. But what a powerful one! She is now one of 208 homicide victims who have been killed by some of the 19,723 criminal, illegal aliens released by ICE onto the streets last year.
Baffled by ICE’s recurring release of this dangerous criminal, Chester Farlie, an attorney for the victim’s family, notes that, in the past four years, 86,000 illegal immigrants, who committed aggravated crimes were set free by the agency. “They get a work permit, can get a drivers license, and are released into the civilian population,” he said.
At Jacques’ sentencing, Wendy faced the judge and boldly said, in a clear firm voice: “We will never get the chance to see our Casey walk down the aisle on the arm of her father. We will never get to hold her in our arms again, kiss her cheek, or love her.” Facing Casey’s killer, Wendy said: “Mr. Jacques: you are a coward.”
Wendy now helps lead a victim support group called Survivors of Homicide. “I have learned to be brave,” she notes.
Some have attacked ICE for its policies. Donald Trump, in his presidential campaign, has raised the specter of hideous crimes committed by illegal immigrants. He tells the story of “an illegal immigrant from Mexico, with a long arrest record,” who killed a 64-year-old woman — “crushing her skull and eye sockets with a hammer, raping her, and murdering her.”
Trump added that the local Police Chief “says the ‘blood trail’ leads straight to Washington.”
But in Casey’s case, it’s far worse. Not only was Jacques here illegally, he had been sentenced to prison for a crime, released to ICE custody, and put back on the street three times.
This blood trail leads straight to ICE.