Harlin Alvarez is back in Warren County for the first time since he fled the Nursery Capital after a wreck that killed two cyclists near Centertown more than five years ago.
Alvarez, 26, was transported from federal custody in Atlanta to Warren County Jail Tuesday. He was booked into the local facility around 4 p.m. where he was formally charged with two counts of leaving the scene of an accident involving fatality. The charge is a Class E Felony carrying one to two years in prison.
The charges come for the deaths of Billy Lynn Bell, 42, and Samantha Roach who were killed when Alvarez’s pick up struck the motorcycle on which they were riding just outside of Centertown on Nashville Highway in 2008. Alvarez fled the scene and was assisted by friends and family in getting out of town and into Atlanta. His brother and a friend ended up doing jail time for assisting in his get away but denied they knew where he was hiding out. They have been deported since they were not here legally.
Alvarez remained on the run for over five years until he was captured by U.S. Customs officials when he tried to board a flight to his native Guatemala this weekend. It is not known if he was regularly coming and going to the Central American country or if this was his first attempt to get out of the country.
Alvarez waived extradition and was brought back to Warren County Tuesday where he will remain until arraignment on the pair of felony charges which could come as early as this Thursday. He is being held under a total $40,000 bond but would have problems leaving even if he were to make bond since federal immigration officials have a hold on him for being in the country illegally.
“We’re glad to have him in custody,” said Sheriff Jackie Matheny of Alvarez’ extradition. “We’ve spent a lot of time trying to catch him so it’s quite a relief to finally have him back here for prosecution.”