2 illegal immigrants sentenced for their roles in deadly Cape Girardeau crash

Marcelino Cruz (Source: Cape Girardeau Police Department)
Marcelino Cruz (Source: Cape Girardeau Police Department)
Samuel Salinas (Source: Cape Girardeau Police Department)
Samuel Salinas (Source: Cape Girardeau Police Department)

CAPE GIRARDEAU COUNTY, MO (KFVS) - Two illegal immigrants will serve time in prison in connection to a deadly crash.

A judge sentenced the driver, Marcelino Cruz, to 15 years in prison. He pleaded guilty to a charge of involuntary manslaughter in the first degree. In exchange for the plea, two charges of leaving the scene of an accident, and one count of tampering with physical evidence were dropped.

His passenger, Samuel Salinas, will spend four years in prison after pleading guilty to tampering with physical evidence in felony prosecution.

According to court documents, a car driven by Marcelino Cruz crashed into a car driven by Carl Black.

Black, a 59-year-old retired United States Air Force veteran, was thrown from his car. He died at the scene.

Witnesses said Cruz and his passenger, Samuel Salinas, got out of the car they were in and started throwing beer cans from the car.

Investigators said neither man made contact with Black, nor did they try to help him.

Cruz and Salinas were stopped by a deputy from Cape Girardeau County as the men tried to walk away from the scene.

The reporting officer said Cruz had watery, bloodshot eyes and was swaying while he stood. An officer also noted his breath smelled of alcohol. A breath sample showed Cruz had a Blood Alcohol Content of .159.

The car's "black box" showed Cruz was driving 102 miles per hour just before impact.

"A man lost his life because Marcelino Carmona-Cruz ignored the laws of Missouri and the United States. He came here illegally, drove drunk, and crashed his motor vehicle into a military veteran killing him." said Cape Girardeau County Prosecuting Attorney Christopher Limbaugh. "Our thoughts and prayers are with the victim's family."

Download the KFVS News app: iPhone | Android

Copyright 2017 KFVS.  All rights reserved.