Tragic and avoidable story from the Arizona Republic:
Erik Jovani Martinez should have been in prison and not jaywalking the day he gunned down Phoenix police Officer Nick Erfle.
But despite a lengthy criminal history and a deportation, Martinez remained free, even after he was arrested again in the Valley just two months after he had been forced to leave the country in 2006.
Scottsdale police say they didn’t know Martinez, 22, was an illegal immigrant or that he had been deported when they arrested him in May 2006 for grabbing his girlfriend’s arm twice during a quarrel.
Martinez was deported in March 2006 after a felony conviction for theft.
Had Scottsdale police known, Martinez should have been jailed and should have faced federal charges for returning to the country illegally. A conviction would have earned him up to 20 years in prison.
Instead, he posted $300 bail and was released.