U.S.

Tennessee Man Accused of Killing Infant Has Been Deported 5 Times, ICE says

Immigration officials say a Central American man accused of killing an infant in Tennessee earlier this month had been deported multiple times.

According to a report from WMC-TV, officials from the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency said they have identified Carlos Zuniga-Aviles, a citizen of Honduras and has been deported five times, as the man who now faces first-degree murder in perpetration of aggravated child abuse charge in connection to the death of a 4-month-old baby.

Investigators claim the infant died from blunt force trauma with skull and rib fractures, and the report correlates with the child’s mother confessing the child was hit in the head.

After the child was found injured and later declared dead, both the mother and Zuniga-Aviles, claimed they didn’t know how the child had been injured. But a week later, the child’s mother told authorities that Zuniga-Aviles struck the child in the head, WMC said.

Officials in Shelby County said Zuniga-Aviles used the alias Jose Agurcia-Avila, 33, and that he killed the child after learning he wasn’t the infant’s father.

“U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has lodged an immigration detainer on unlawfully present Honduran national Carlos Zuniga-Aviles AKA Jose Avila-Agurcia following his arrest for murder in Shelby County, Tennessee," ICE said in a statement. "ICE will seek to take him into custody to reinstate his removal order following the resolution of the criminal charges he currently faces. Mr. Zuniga-Aviles has been removed from the U.S. five prior times; his most recent removal by ICE to Honduras took place in December 2016. Mr. Zuniga-Aviles subsequently illegally re-entered the U.S. after removal, which is a felony act under federal law.”

WMC reported Zuniga-Aviles had been deported back to Honduras — from states other than Tennessee and via other aliases — in February 2010, January 2011, March 2012, November 2016 and December 2016. Deportations came via ICE in Utah, Texas and Louisiana.

Michael Nelson, a political analyst for WMC, said he wouldn’t be surprised to see President Donald Trump uses the Shelby County case as a talking point for renewed border control and the structure of a barrier along the country’s southern border with Mexico.

"Donald Trump is going to make hay with both of those things. One, he'll say if we had a wall he wouldn't have been able to get in all those times and meanwhile we should be worrying about people getting in because of what they do," Nelson said.

Zuniga-Aviles is scheduled for another court appearance on May 1.

Editor's Pick