Attorney for Illegal Alien in Prom-Night Drunk Driving Murder Case Blames Police

HPD - DUI - Fatal Crash
Photo: Harris County Police Reporter/Scott Engle

HOUSTON, Texas — The attorney for an previously deported illegal alien who allegedly killed a teenage girl and critically injured her date while he was fleeing from police blames police for the death of the teen. She also says his immigration status is of no consequence in this case.

Edin Palacios was observed driving drunk in the early morning hours of May 14, police say. When the officers attempted to stop the pickup truck after it ran over a curb while making a U-turn, the drive pulled over and the took off after the police officer got out of his car, Breitbart Texas previously reported. Following a short chase that quickly went to very high speeds, the truck, allegedly driven by Palacios, reportedly ran a red light and plowed into a Dodge Charger driven by 18-year-old Moises Avila. His passenger, and prom date, Jocelyn Valero was killed in the crash and Avila was critically injured. Breitbart Texas first reported the news that Palacios was a previously deported illegal alien from Guatemala.

Jocelyn Valero and her prom date Moises Avila pose before leaving on their prom date. (Family photo)

Jocelyn Valero and her prom date Moises Avila pose before leaving on their prom date. (Family photo)

Palacios’s attorney now claims the police are at fault for trying to stop her client from driving drunk. She also claimed his immigration status is not a factor in the case.

In an interview with KTRK’s Elissa Rivas, Houston defense attorney Emily Detoto said police should have used a less aggressive approach in pursuing her client when he fled from police while allegedly driving drunk. She claimed that if they wanted to arrest him, they likely already had his license plate and description.

As a defense attorney, Detoto is certainly aware that pursuing a DWI prosecution would be nearly impossible if they simply allowed him to go home and then went to his home to make the arrest. She is also likely aware of the danger to the public and liability on police if they allowed the man to continue to drive while drunk during the 15 mile drive to his home in northwest Houston.

Her remarks also ignore the fact that he police chase lasted only a couple of minutes before Palacios blasted through the red light and allegedly killed Ms. Valero.

“Every five or so years we come to the same issue of police chases,” Detoto told the Houston reporter, “and unfortunately someone ends up having to die before we can address the issue of aggressive police chases.”

Detoto’s client is an illegal alien who was previously deported from the U.S. in 2013, Breitbart Texas previously reported. Officials with U.S. Customs and Immigration’s Enforcement Removal Operation confirmed this to Breitbart Texas on May 16.

The defense attorney claims his immigration status is of no consequence in this case. She ignores the fact that the man should not even be in this country, let alone driving a vehicle without a license, or insurance. Texas law does not allow an illegal alien to obtain a driver license.

She went on to claim that Palacios is a construction worker who recently received a promotion at the company where he works.

“People tend to jump to conclusions about someone’s guilt or innocence based upon their immigration status,” Detoto said. “But, in reality, his immigration status has nothing to do with his guilt or innocence in this case.”

Edin Palacios mugshot. (Photo: Harris County Sheriff's Office)

Edin Palacios mugshot. (Photo: Harris County Sheriff’s Office)

His guilt will be determined by the police video evidence of Palacios allegedly driving his truck away from police after being stopped and leading them on a short, but high=speed chase. The video will likely show Palacios’ truck running the red light and striking the Dodge Charger broadside in the passenger door where Valero was sitting seconds before being crushed by the truck. It will also be determined by the video showing the man attempting to flee again on foot after the crash only to be tackled by wrecker drivers and police. And, it will be determined by blood-alcohol tests administered at the hospital where Palacios was taken for his injuries in the crash.

All of that is complicated by the fact that Palacios had no business being in this country or driving a truck because he had been previously deported. Detoto is wrong that police are to blame for the death of this young girl and the serious injuries to her prom date. The blame for the crash lies solely on Palacios who apparently chose to re-enter the United States after being deported and who apparently chose to drive a pickup truck without a license while drunk, and who apparently chose to flee from police to avoid responsibility for his chain of irresponsible and illegal actions.

It is also the fault of an open border policy that allows illegal aliens to re-enter this country at will after being deported. Every week, Breitbart Texas reports on crimes committed by previously deported illegal aliens or the capture of violent criminals and sex offenders who re-enter the country after being deported.

Detoto claimed her client was “very remorseful” and is “very confused about the process.”

Editor’s Note: This article has been updated with additional information.

Bob Price serves as associate editor and senior political news contributor for Breitbart Texas and is a member of the original Breitbart Texas team. Follow him on Twitter @BobPriceBBTX.