To avoid deportation, bail set for undocumented immigrant accused of drunk driving, killing man on tractor

Local News

CAYUGA COUNTY, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — An undocumented immigrant accused of drunk driving and killing Mark Knapp, a Weedsport man, while riding a tractor in November, was in court on Wednesday.

Last month, Heriberto Perez-Velasquez pleaded not guilty to charges of aggravated vehicular homicide and aggravated DWI in Weedsport Village Court. Wednesday, he was in Cayuga County Court for a bail hearing. 

Knapp’s family, Perez-Velasquez’s girlfriend and a friend were also in attendance.

Perez-Velasquez’s lawyer, Rome Canzano, said he advised his client to request bail to avoid potential deportation and, therefore, remain in local custody. Under New York’s new bail reform law, Perez-Velasquez would have qualified for release, but as an undocumented immigrant, if he were released, he would have risked being taken into ICE custody.

The prosecution believed Perez-Velasquez was a flight risk because of his illegal status and pushed for a bail of $250,000, but Judge Thomas Leone went beyond that amount, setting bail at $500,000 cash or $1 million bond.

Perez-Velasquez is due back in court on February 11, 2020.

More from NewsChannel 9:

For more local news, follow Rob Hackford on Twitter @Robert_Hackford

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Live Doppler 9 Map Center

CNY View

CNY View

CNY View

Oswego Area

Oswego Area

Syracuse Area

Syracuse Area