Suspect in deadly St Johns hit-and-run faces deportation

Multnomah County

The victim's family still hopes for the chance to face the suspect in court

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — A suspect involved in a 2019 hit-and-run that left an 82-year-old woman dead in Portland’s St. Johns neighborhood is expected to be deported to Mexico.

The crash happened on April 10 at North Fessenden Street and North Polk Avenue. An off-duty Portland police officer reported the crash and tried to help but the pedestrian — 82-year-old Sandy Bosch — died at the scene.

“What’s really devastating is that somebody just left and left her like that…broke her cane into pieces,” Sandra’s daughter Tracey Paulson told KOIN 6 News at the time.

A witness reported seeing a vehicle heading eastbound on North Fessenden at about 45 miles per hour, according to court documents. The driver never stopped.

Paulson said her mom was outside that night to get some daffodils from across the street.

“She absolutely loved flowers and that’s what got her in trouble that night. I took her to the store, she bought a bouquet of daffodils and she expressed she wanted some with the orange centers and there were some across the street,” Paulson said. “She saw those flowers and got it in her head to get those darn orange daffodils.”

An undated photo of Sandy Bosch. (Courtesy of Tracey Paulson/Vicki Cordier)

The day after the crash, the University of Portland reported a suspicious vehicle parked near its campus, about 2 miles away from where Bosch was killed.

According to court documents, the car’s windshield was smashed and what looked like hair was embedded in the glass. Investigators confirmed the evidence collected from the vehicle matched Bosch’s DNA.

In early June, 42-year-old Jaime Mendoza-Chavez was arrested and charged in the deadly hit-and-run. Authorities said that when they contacted Mendoza-Chavez, he told them he “wanted to tell the truth” and admitted to driving the car that hit Bosch after drinking 2 beers.

Mendoza-Chavez posted bail and was released two days after his arrest — the same day U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement lodged an immigration detainer on him. ICE officials found and arrested him about a month later.

The federal immigration agency said Mendoza-Chavez is actually Manuel Garcia-Ledesma and is a Mexican citizen living in the U.S. illegally. A federal immigration judge ordered his deportation to Mexico on Jan. 6.

According to ICE, Mendoza-Chavez was arrested in Phoenix, Arizona in 1999 by the Immigration and Naturalization Service and was allowed to voluntarily return to Mexico. But he re-entered the U.S. sometime later.

Tracey Paulson (left) and Vicki Cordier, Jan. 28, 2020. (KOIN)

ICE said his current status is pending further immigration proceedings.

Bosch’s daughters — Paulson and Vicki Cordier — told KOIN 6 News they still hope to one day face the man accused of killing their mom.

“We were never out to get the guy thrown in jail for years and ruin his life or anything. But we felt we deserved a day in court and to be able to tell him basically what he took from us,” Paulson said. “We wanted, at the very least, to show him the video that we made for her celebration of life and let him see what kind of person she was.”

But it’s unclear if they will ever get the opportunity.

Paulson said authorities have told her that there’s a chance Mendoza-Chavez could be extradited back to the U.S. once he’s in Mexico to face charges. But the process could take a long time.

In the meantime, Paulson said they “don’t even get to tell him how it made us feel and what he did.”

Paulson and Cordier recently held a celebration of life for their mom. They planted 50 daffodil bulbs in her honor.

An undated photo of Sandy Bosch. (Courtesy of Tracey Paulson/Vicki Cordier)

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