The Angel Family of 39-year-old Corey Cottrell, a father of two young girls, says their “wonderful” and “exceptional” loved one was taken from them by the “lawlessness” of an illegal alien from Honduras.
As Breitbart News has chronicled, Jose Rodriguez, a 27-year-old illegal alien from Honduras, is accused of running a red light on June 22 in the sanctuary state of Illinois, causing him to hit and kill Corey Cottrell, who was riding his motorcycle at the time and was on his way to see his mother, Kathy.
Rodriguez, who was ordered deported six years ago, is now in state custody on a $1 million bond and the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency has requested that local officials turn him over to their custody should he be released.
In an exclusive interview with SiriusXM Patriot’s Breitbart News Tonight, Cheryl Wendland — a close family friend of the Cottrells — said Corey’s mother has been “destroyed” by her son’s death and that the family is hoping Rodriguez serves the maximum sentence.
“He took away, out of his carelessness and lawlessness, took away a wonderful, wonderful person,” Wendland said. “He’s destroyed my very best friend in the world, he’s destroyed her by losing her only son … and he left behind two beautiful little girls, a 14-year-old and an 11-year-old.”
“I always told his mom, you know I’ve known Corey since he was eight, he grew into such an exceptional father,” Wendland continued. “I was so proud of the type of father he was and he was so involved. The hole this leaves in them, it’s just heartbreaking. They’re a very Christian family, they’re heartbroken. Corey was a very godly man.”
Wendland said such a tragedy can happen to any American and asked that citizens wake up to the realization of the “lack of immigration control” in the U.S. that has not only enabled sanctuary city laws but crimes against Americans and legal immigrants by illegal aliens.
“We are just normal, middle-class everyday people and now we’re thrown into a situation we’d never thought we’d be part of,” Wendland said. “… It can happen to anybody. We have to fight the politicians and the greed and the power-tripping that they’re doing around this immigration. We have to do something, especially in states like Illinois that are sanctuary states.”
Wendland said that two days after Corey was killed, Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker (D) announced more protections by the sanctuary state that would be afforded to illegal aliens.
“The same weekend [Kathy’s] child is killed and her tax dollars are going to protect the type of people that have killed her son,” Wendland said. “… It’s a slap in the face.”
Last month, Pritzker signed into law a ban on ICE detention centers in the state of Illinois, a prohibition on local law enforcement agencies helping ICE agents arrest and detain criminal illegal aliens, and allowing illegal aliens to obtain taxpayer-funded public aid at public colleges.
Wendland said that Cottrell family suspects that Rodriguez was a beneficiary of the catch and release program, where the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) detains and then releases thousands of illegal aliens and border-crossers into the interior of the U.S.
Despite being ordered deported in 2013 and 2014, the illegal alien “has been running free,” Wendland said, stating that the family also suspects he was driving under the influence of alcohol at the time of the fatal crash.
“We do have reason to believe that alcohol was involved ,but it was 27 hours later after the crash … there were empty beer cans in his van,” Wendland said. “That is [from] the official police report. We don’t know if we’ll ever find out for sure what his toxicology is because he did agree to blood results but it was 27 hours later.”
Already, Rodriguez’s defense attorney has requested a new judge in the case and has asked that his bail be reduced from the current $1 million. While it is likely the state will afford the illegal alien a new judge at his request, the Cottrell family believes it is unlikely that his bail will be reduced.
John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter at @JxhnBinder.