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Murder in Westchester County
Elizabeth Butler was just a few days away from high school graduation last year when she was raped, strangled and stabbed to death in her family's car by an ex-boyfriend, illegal alien Ariel Menendez. When the 17-year-old didn't show up for work at a local deli in Croton Falls, her parents went looking and were devastated to find her body.
Ariel Menendez was convicted of first-degree murder and rape on May 30 and will be sentenced in July. The Westchester County DA is seeking a prison term of life without parole as the "only appropriate sentence" for such a brutal crime.
Apparently Menendez had told Elizabeth and her parents that he was a 21-year-old construction worker, not a 27-year-old illegal alien with a prior arrest for felony drunk driving plus additional minor offenses. Elizabeth had broken up with him and was dating someone else.
Grief did not blind Elizabeth's mother to the devastating results to her family from open borders [Menendez found guilty, 5/31/06, Journal News].
Patricia Butler denounced the fact that Menendez, an illegal immigrant from Guatemala, was allowed to remain in the United States after past convictions for felony driving while intoxicated and other offenses.
If he had been deported, my daughter would be alive today," she said.
Jim Russell (a candidate for Congress this fall, for Nita Lowey's seat in New York State's 18th District) attended the trial. His astute observations about the blame-the-victim defense strategy as well as the inadequate media coverage, particularly regarding the killer's immigration status, can be read at a local forum.