Man charged with murder in hit-and-run

April 17, 2008 4:53:00 PM PDT
New charges have been filed against the driver police say is responsible for a 7-year-old's death.

Hipolito Hernandez, 30, is charged with the murder of a 7-year-old Johnston County boy.

Eyewitness News has also learned that the man who first gave authorities a fake name has been charged with drunken driving four times.

Investigators are now working to figure out if Hernandez is in the country illegally.

The N.C. Highway Patrol added the second-degree murder charge Thursday.

Hernandez appear before a judge again on April 24 to face the murder charge.

The suspect had a blood alcohol level more than twice the legal limit when he lost control of his car Sunday, hitting and killing 7-year-old Marcus Lassiter.

Investigators say Hernandez was traveling about 70 mph shortly before the crash. That's 25 mph above the posted speed limit. And his arrest isn't the first run-in with the law.

He was arrested for driving drunk three times before -- one from 2007 is still pending and the other two charges were dropped when the officer didn't show up in court.

Johnston County Sheriff's officials and Highway Patrol troopers vow to get Hernandez off the streets and if he's in the country illegally, get him out of the states.

Officials are getting help from ICE. Federal immigration officers have flagged Hernandez as a likely illegal immigrant.

After he faces state and local charges, a judge will decide if there is enough evidence to have him removed from the country.


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