An illegal immigrant on the run for over five years after he killed two motorcyclists in a horrific accident near Centertown is a month away from being banished from the country.
Herlin Alvarez, 27, entered guilty pleas Wednesday before Circuit Court Judge Bart Stanley to two counts of reckless homicide. He was given a four-year sentence for the two felonies, but only one year of that sentence is to be served in jail.
Alvarez will be released next month after being behind bars since his capture in February. How-ever, he will not be released into society, at least not in the United States. Instead, he will be released to the custody of federal immigration agents who will deport him to his native Guatemala.
His jail time comes after he killed Samantha Roach and Lynn Bell, both 42, near Centertown on Sept. 30, 2008. Investigators say Alvarez’s pickup was on the wrong side of the road when he ran head-on into the motorcycle driven by Bell. Both were ejected from the cycle and killed.
Alvarez fled the scene on foot and was picked up by a friend and family member. They helped him flee to Atlanta where he disappeared for more than five years. His accomplices, Henry Alvarez and William Perez, ended up serving almost as long as Alvarez as they both got two-year sentences for aiding and abetting. They were also deported out of the country upon their release.
Alvarez remained at-large for five years before U.S. Customs officials caught him trying to board a plane in Atlanta bound for Guatemala. He claimed to be someone else but the federal officials were able to positively identify him as the man wanted from Warren County. He was then transported back here to stand trial and accepted the plea deal Wednesday.
Members of both the Roach and Bell family were on hand for sentencing Wednesday. Represent-atives from both families asked Alvarez why he fled and stayed at large so long while the families suf-fered and waited for closure.
Alvarez did not respond to their questions.