It is one of the untold stories of the criminal justice system: A family unable to grieve their loved one because of parole hearings where they must beg the courts not to grant early release to a convicted killer.
Angel Mom Kathy Hall never imagined she would have to relive her daughter’s, 18-year-old Hailey King’s, death every year after 35-year-old illegal alien Sergio Rodriguez pled guilty to manslaughter as well as other charges in 2018.
Yet, after only two years since Rodriguez’s conviction, Hall had to tell the story of Hailey’s death to a parole board in the hopes of keeping the illegal alien in prison for at least another two years.
“I still don’t understand how you can sentence someone to 17 years and then after 2 years have a parole hearing,” Hall told Breitbart News. “You have to relive it over and over. It’s not something you can quickly prepare for. And then every year after that, you are re-victimized. You cannot heal from what’s happened because you’re still fighting to keep people behind bars.”
November 6, 2016, was Election Day for most Americans. Then-candidate Donald Trump had bolted the issue of immigration, and the plight of Angel Families, to national attention after decades of politicians ignoring victims of unenforced federal immigration law.
For Hall, it was the day Hailey was hit on a scooter by a speeding Rodriguez and left for dead. Rather than stopping when he hit Hailey and another victim — who is now a double amputee as a result — Rodriguez fled the scene of the crash.
GRAPHIC* please help stop the parole of Sergio Rodriguez before he is back on the streets to do this again it could be your loved one next time. 2yrs of 17 is not enough pic.twitter.com/d2xqdRmtt5
— Angel mom Kathy Hall (@jestkathy) July 12, 2020
Rodriguez left the vehicle he was driving in an apartment complex. After being arrested for the deadly hit-and-run, it took two years for Rodriguez to be convicted of Hailey’s death and leaving the other victim in a wheelchair for the rest of his life.
After fighting to get second-murder charges placed on Rodriguez, Hall said they were thrown out in favor of a plea deal that was never discussed with the victims’ families. Rodriguez had already gotten off before taking the plea deal, as he was released on bail only hours after being arrested.
As part of his plea deal, Rodriguez has to pay just $280 in restitution.
“This boy has to live the rest of his life in a wheelchair, and my daughter we had to bury at 18 years old,” Hall said. “And he had to pay $280.”
Months before the trial was set to start, Rodriguez was allowed to marry a United States citizen and adjust status to become a legal permanent resident, Hall told Breitbart News.
Today, Hall was told the news that Rodriguez was denied parole and that she must go before the board again in about a year and a half. After the next parole hearing, assuming he is denied again, Hall will have to testify before the board every year.
“If he’d been paroled, he would have been freed in February 2021,” Hall said. “It’s going to be a year and a half until the next hearing. And, if he is granted parole, he will be released six months from the hearing. I have about 14 to 15 months until I have to start this all over again.”
“Since my daughter died, I promised her I would fight for justice for her,” Hall continued. “Since she took her last breath, that’s what I’ve done.”
John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter at @JxhnBinder.