SALEM, Ore. (AP) - Authorities have arrested a Mexican man accused of causing the crash that killed a sheriff's deputy more than a decade ago.
Oregon State Police say 29-year-old Alfredo de Jesus Ascencio was arrested in Mexico last week.
Marion County Deputy Kelly Fredinburg died in June 2007 when his patrol car was struck by De Jesus Ascencio's vehicle. De Jesus Ascencio's cousin, Oscar Ascencio Amaya, also died in the crash.
De Jesus Ascencio was charged with two counts of criminally negligent homicide but fled to Mexico before trial.
Investigators caught up to him in January 2017, but he was mistakenly released a month later.
State police said Oregon prosecutors in 2010 sought to have Mexican authorities prosecute De Jesus Ascencio in that country because it was unlikely he would be extraditd to the U.S.
OSP news release:
On June 16, 2007 Deputy Fredinburg was en route to an emergency call on Highway 99E when his patrol car was struck head-on by a vehicle driven by De Jesus Ascencio. Deputy Fredinburg's patrol car caught fire and he was pronounced deceased at the scene. Deputy Fredinburg joined the Marion County Sheriff's Office in August 2006 after working the previous six years for the Polk County Sheriff's Office. He was 33 years old when he died. Oscar Ascencio Amaya, a 19 year old passenger in Ascencio's vehicle, also died as a result of the crash.
Following an investigation by OSP, the case was presented to a Marion County Grand Jury and on August 3, 2007, Ascencio was indicted for two counts of Criminally Negligent Homicide. Ascencio fled to Mexico prior to being arraigned on the charges.
In 2010, the Marion County District Attorney's Office successfully filed an Article IV prosecution which allows certain crimes committed in the U.S. to be prosecuted by the Mexican Judicial System. A Mexican arrest warrant was issued for Ascencio for causing the deaths of Deputy Fredinburg and Oscar Ascencio Amaya.
On January 20, 2017, Ascencio was arrested on that warrant in the Mexican State of Puebla. He was transported to the Mexican State of Baja California, where he was accidentally released approximately one month later, in February of 2017. The warrant for De Jesus Ascencio remained valid and active after his release. On December 21, 2017, OSP learned that Ascencio, age 29, was arrested in the State of Michoacán, on an arrest warrant.
OSP has worked jointly with the Marion County District Attorney's Office, Marion County Sheriff's Department, FBI Agents assigned in Mexico City and Salem, the U.S. Embassy, Interpol, and the Mexican Attorney General's Office in this investigation. More information will be released as it becomes available.