Sunday, April 5, 2009

Handicapped inmate leaves Broward jail, returns to Cuba

Enrique Reyes, the paralyzed inmate stuck at the Broward County jail even though he had served his sentence, flew back to his native Cuba Wednesday to live with his family.

Jail administrators, the Broward Sheriff's Office and Reyes' attorney, Jose Reyes, no relation, tried for about a year to find a way for Reyes to leave the jail, but ran into difficulties because no one wanted a poor, undocumented immigrant who uses a wheelchair.

On Aug. 5, 2006, Reyes went out for a night of drinking, drove and slammed into another vehicle in Deerfield Beach, killing a friend and leaving himself paralyzed. Reyes pleaded no contest to vehicular homicide, and Broward Circuit Judge Marc Gold sentenced him to five years of probation in 2008.

Gold granted the probation because Reyes had no significant criminal history, showed remorse, was paralyzed, and the victim's family did not oppose the sentence.

Gold ordered Reyes sent to Broward General Medical Center, but the hospital refused to keep him, so he landed back in jail. Ultimately the Cuban Interests Section in Washington gave the go-ahead for Reyes to return to Cuba.


No comments: