Skip to main content
  1. News
  2. Politics
  3. Policy & Issues

Illegal alien will spend only four years in prison for fatal DUI

See also

On Friday, Gloucester County (NJ) Superior Court Judge Kevin Smith sentenced Rufino Lopez-Cruz, 35, to five years in prison after he pleaded guilty to one count of vehicular homicide, after causing an alcohol-fueled crash that killed his roommate.

On March 23, 2013, Lopez-Cruz turned his Ford Explorer in East Greenwich, which resulted in fatal injuries to the passenger, 59-year-old Santos Perez.

At the time of the crash, Lopez-Cruz had a blood-alcohol level of .162, more than twice the legal limit, according to court documents.

The Mexican national has been living illegally in the United States for the last 16 years, speaks only Spanish and required the use of an interpreter throughout his court proceedings.

The South Jersey Times reported:

[Judge] Smith expressed doubt that five years in prison was a stiff enough penalty. A second-degree crime, vehicular homicide can bring a maximum of 10 years under New Jersey law. But the five-year sentence had been negotiated in a plea deal with prosecutors, and Smith obliged.

Lopez-Cruz must serve 85 percent of his prison term — four years and three months — before he’s eligible for parole.

Lopez-Cruz worked at a local farm, despite his illegal status in this country.



  • Gaza school shelled
    Israeli airstrikes topple a school in Gaza suspected of housing rockets; dozens killed
  • Ebola outbreak
    An American with Ebola virus died shortly after boarding three planes
    World News
  • Why dogs smell butts
    Researchers figure out why dogs like to smell each other's butts
  • Time to stop tanning
    The surgeon general advises us not to tan as melanoma cases are on the rise
    Health News
  • Zimmerman lands dream job
    George Zimmerman lands his dream job as a security guard at a gun/motorcycle shop
  • 10 smartest states
    Here are the 10 most educated states in the U.S., did yours make the cut?
    US News