Criminal charges dismissed in Jessica Colotl case
by Associated Press Wire and Lindsay Field
January 11, 2013 12:30 AM | 5445 views | 40 40 comments | 14 14 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Jessica Colotl<br>MDJ Staff/ Laura Moon
Jessica Colotl
MDJ Staff/ Laura Moon
slideshow

MARIETTA – Sixteen months after entering into a pretrial diversion program with the State of Georgia, Jessica Colotl’s felony false swearing charge has been dismissed.

Cobb Superior Court Judge Mary Staley signed an “order to dismiss” Wednesday in the case against Colotl, whose 2010 arrest after a traffic stop nearly led to her deportation.

“When I took office Jan. 2, (the motion to dismiss) was still on my desk, so I went about finding a way to resolve it,” said Cobb District Attorney Vic Reynolds on Thursday. “I learned it was on the calendar for (Jan. 9), so I called Assistant District Attorney Greg Epstein and told him that we needed to do whatever we could to close this case.”

After reviewing the case front to back, Reynolds said he came to the conclusion that the Cobb District Attorney’s Office was “bound by its agreement,” even though he wasn’t involved in the case initially, as former District Attorney Pat Head retired effective Dec. 31.

“There was an agreement made 16 months ago, where the District Attorney’s Office had agreed to proceed with some sort of dismissal,” he said. “I reviewed that agreement, I believed that the state legally and ethically was bound by that agreement, and I believe the District Attorney’s Office has to abide by its word.”

Reynolds reached out to Colotl’s defense attorney, Jerome Lee with Taylor, Lee and Associates of Atlanta, and spoke to Staley about having the case resolved.

“She was in agreement that it should be dismissed,” he said. “The order was prepared, we had a brief hearing in court where (Staley) read the order into the record, then her honor proceeded to sign the record.”

Staley was unavailable for comment Thursday.

Reynolds said his understanding of the case was that on Aug. 31, 2011, Head reached an agreement with Colotl that allowed her to enter into a pretrial diversion program, which required Colotl to complete at least 150 hours of community service, pay an admission fee to complete the program and provided the District Attorney’s Office with at least three letters of references from individuals who attested to her character.

“She successfully completed her end of the deal,” Reynolds said. “She did what the state asked her to do.”

Upon Colotl’s completion of the program, Head’s office submitted a dismissal motion to Staley, but Reynolds said either the judge or Cobb Sheriff Neil Warren “became concerned about the case, or at least expressed concern about the way it was handled,” thus causing it to carry on for 16 months and bounce between court calendars the latter part of 2012.

“I think there had been some contention in this case and in the record … I was not at liberty to express an opinion one way or the other,” he said. “I inherited it some 16 months later and felt that the DA was bound by the agreement, whether the present administration agrees or disagrees.”

In a statement released by Warren, he said he was disappointed in Head’s decision to defer Colotl’s case and allow her to enter into the program but understood that Reynolds inherited the case and was bound by a prior decision.

“I respect District Attorney Reynolds and look forward to working with him,” he said. “I also appreciated the fact that he took the time to discuss with me his decision to dismiss this case prior to releasing it to the media.

“However, as I have said before, it is my opinion that Ms. Colotl deserves no special consideration in the criminal justice process for decisions she made as an adult to violate the laws of this state. Affording her special treatment in this situation would send the wrong message to our youth and other members in our society.”

Colotl’s case began in March 2010 after a traffic stop on the campus of Kennesaw State University. She didn’t have a driver’s license and was taken to the Cobb County Jail, where she gave jailers an old address as her current one, resulting in the felony charge of making false statements.

An illegal immigrant, she also was turned over to federal immigration authorities, who later let her stay in the United States.

Colotl Consent Dismiss by mdjonline

Do you agree with the decision to dismiss the charges against Ms. Colotl?


Comments
(40)
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mk-too late
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January 13, 2013
Well, it looks like we'll be told to suck it up.

Marco Rubio is introducing legislation w/ pathway to citizenship for all that are here.

It was never a doubt in my mind that the wealthy were never going to let their cheap labor slip away.

pLUS, THE CHEAP LABOR DON'T LIVE IN THEIR NEIGHBORHOODS OR GO TO THEIR PRIVILEGED SCHOOLS, so

Happy dance for the traitors!!
Federalism Now
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January 12, 2013
Enforcing federal law (immigration) is for the federal government. Cobb taxpayers shouldn't have to pay to enforce federal law anymore than we should have to pay to enforce U.N. law. Treat her like anyone else regardless of her federall citizenship status. If the Feds want to take action, let them do it and pay for it in federal court. It's not our law so it's not our bill to pay.
hey moron...
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January 14, 2013
...false swearing is a state law not federal.
mk-NWO
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January 12, 2013
Make her an example. Give her 'citizen of the year' award and grant all her wishes.

Make her the new Ga Attorney General, giving Sam Olens early retirement.

Strip Sheriff Warren of his gun & badge. Replace him w/ Rich Pelligrino.

Retire Governor Deal. Welcome our new governor, Jerry Gonzalas.

Take DA Kings citizenship, military service, patriotism & throw it in the trash.

Strip all Americans of their guns & rights.

Burn the Constitution!

Burn the flag!

Then & only then, we might begin to awaken.

NO-BS
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January 11, 2013
Don't need another lecture from a lib about how the system works. The system is BROKEN now. Don't need another lecture by some twit who wants to talk about brown skin color trying to turn this into a racial issue - your incapacity or outright unwillingness to discuss the application of the rule of law (until you get your people in a position to change it) speaks volumes. Don't need a sob story about how poor Jessica was forced to move to avoid PERSECUTION in Cobb County.

Federal officials who perpetuate the story of racial persecution to further a political agenda is evidence that the "System" exists - but it isn't the "system" we the tax payers and citizens consented to. The "System" will reward this behavior until it is no longer politically expedient to do so.
nowwhat1
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January 11, 2013
Now she needs to get a jobs and pay taxes under her real name.
Do Not Understand
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January 10, 2013
Why did she get off? I must be missing something.
wake up...
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January 11, 2013
...if you don't 'get it',...then, obviously, you've been asleep!

Haven't noticed how quickly we are losing our rights, Americans are being molested, arrested, silenced & the criminals arenow running the country?

Infowars.com
clueless...
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January 11, 2013
Come on,.. you don't get it?

Have you looked around lately?

Any Home Depot, Chik-Filet, McDonalds, construction crews, road crews, school campuses, Must Ministries, food stamps, shelter, emergency rooms, free dental care, Mexican resturants, government forms in spanish, bilingual job seekers get preference, press 1 for english, South Cobb Drive, Smyrna, Marietta, Austell, Gwinnett County, Gainsville, carpet mills, electricians, roofers, business owners, home owners, slap on the wrist, turn a bling eye, silence Amrican's, head's in the sand, etc,. etc.

It's all about helping these illegals become established & entrenched in America.

Everything is geared towards bringing in illegals, making them 'comfortably illegal', while fundamentally changing the face of this country!
westcobb
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January 10, 2013
My American born son got into some trouble as a new freshman in college because he did not make good choices. We offered to hire an attorney. He said "No Mom, I did it and I will accept my consequences." He did as the court ordered. He dropped out of college, got a job, and paid a huge fine, served community service, honored his probation. He waited to go back to college until he could pay on his own. He is now a graduate from UGA with a great degree and working. A little later than expected, but I am very proud of the man he has become. I don't have to worry about him breaking the law again!
EastCobb
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January 11, 2013
In Cobb County, a 20 year old can get far worse punishment for MIP than Colotl did for being an illegal immigrant. In this case the politicians wanted the spot light. In the MIP cases, all they want is your money and ruin your life.
Catch a clue!!!
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January 10, 2013
You all are living on fantasy island if you think every American citizen who deals with the police is telling the truth 100% of the time!!!

The fact here is that while the young lady was in the wrong, the politicos...and yes, the sheriff included....decided to make an example of her. It wasn't some landscaper they stopped doing the same thing....which happens more than you can imagine...it was a college girl trying to make something of herself. They wanted to paint a picture with this case, only it backfired. If you would like to talk about special treatment, let's go back two years ago to a certain party in a certain neighborhood with the children of certain well-connected individuals. I don't seem to remember many people there telling the truth either, and not only were they citizens, but they were the children of some well positioned folks.

Time for the troops to move on.
Common Sense
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January 10, 2013
And the continous destruction of America continues...I longer know the country I grew up in as young child.
Murph22
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January 10, 2013
Some of you are so full of crap. If your kid did the the same thing you'd do everything you could to get them out of it. Stop being such hypocrites. All you care about it getting another brown person out of your sight.
crazy traitor
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January 11, 2013
What an uneducated statement. You must not understand the difference between 'illegal' and 'legal', and/or employee illegals without any concern about right and wrong, only how much money you can make.

YOU are what is wrong with this country and why we have lost it.
RE: Murph
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January 11, 2013
Nothing to with race. My children were born in America as I was. We are all American citizens.

Tell you what, I know for a fact my children will not have to lie on an application to gain entry to a college and to receive in-state tuition since we live in GA legally.

The young woman lied to authorities on a numerous occasions, including her immagration status.
Beni Chupamelo
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January 10, 2013
This is a great victory over southern nonsense profiling and racism. Good job judge!
Lost Me
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January 11, 2013
The young woman broke the law just by being in this Country, lied to the authorities, and lied on the college application that she was an in-state resident.

This has nothing to do with profiling as she was caught driving illegally. Lied to officers when questioned.

She broke numerous laws and received special treatment due to the media exposure.
The Sane One
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January 10, 2013
You people obviously have ZERO knowledge of how the legal process actually works.

1. Giving false information to law enforcement IS a bailable offense (and a low bail at that) unless there is a serious underlying crime associated with it.

2. Pretrial diversion for something as simple as this is COMMONPLACE.

3. Every other agency has done the reasonable thing, but good ole "hang 'em high" Cobb County has held this single motion up for an entire year just because of politics.

4. The comments on here illustrate the height of ignorance of how the system works in real day-to-day practice and further shows why Cobb has the reputation for having judges like Staley (and several others) and a Sheriff that use their power corruptly when it fits a political agenda.
Old and insane
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January 11, 2013
Regardless of how the legal system works, she is still illegally resident in the US and should be deported. If she wants to become a citizen, let her come through the proper channels.

Serious today
|
January 11, 2013
And yet you choose to live in Cobb over Fulton or Dekalb?

Happy to let Warren and Staley ensure your standard of living and safety in your community and equally happy to hand out unfounded criticism.

hypocrite.
Can't Believe This
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January 10, 2013
So, now illegal aliens are a protected class. How great is this country??????
sheeple. sheeple
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January 10, 2013
Let this be a lesson kiddies. This is no longer the America our forefathers fought & died for.

They warned us.
Just Wait
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January 10, 2013
This is wrong. Just plain wrong.
Lib in Cobb
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January 10, 2013
In the spirit of what President Obama has enacted, than you Judge Staley, thak you.
IceDogg
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January 11, 2013
Yes, indeed... Than you, thak you very much.
Serious today
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January 11, 2013
Pat Head let her off
Gringo Bandito
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January 10, 2013
I would like to thank Judge Staley for setting the legal precedent allowing all of us to lie to the police.
Pat H
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January 10, 2013
The blame lies with Dr. Papp who intervened with her deportation after she was arrested, and the taxpayers of Cobb County incurred the expense of a trial by jury by Colotl's demand and the jury found her guilty.

When will she repay the taxpayers for all the free medical care, free benefits, and illegal use of the Hope scholarship by lying on her application that she was a legal resident.
blame also...
|
January 11, 2013
Blame all the American's that have allowed themselves to become weakened, brainwashed, sissyfied & fattened up for slaughter.

Ground war, hand to hand combat, who would your money be on ? The fat little Americans or the Chinese & Iranians?

You better grow some fast, American boys!
Watcher...
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January 10, 2013
Judge Staley must be defeated the next she seeks her coveted Superior Court Seat.

The Shepple must get much more involved in all Judicial Campaigns!
BRM
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January 10, 2013
WHEN AN AMERICAN GIVES FALSE INFORMATION TO LAW ENFORCEMENT, THEY ARE LOCKED UP WITH NO BAIL. WHY IS WE DO NOT HOLD OTHERS TO STANDARDS THAT WE HAVE TO MEET ?
ATL Law
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January 10, 2013
BRM, what you just wrote make very little sense. There is bail granted in just about every similar case to Ms. Colotl. Further, your suggesting that she received unfair bail is irresponsible. Your incorrect quote would leave others to believe it is true, when it is nowhere near true. Such comments leads to misinformation being spread. Don't be a part of the problem.
US Federal Law
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January 11, 2013
Yes, and as we can tell from ATL Law's username, they must know what they're talking about and should be completely trusted. Of course, since I'm US Federal Law, I'm more authoritative than ATL Law - so you can trust me more, unless Universe Law comes along and overrules me.
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