Multnomah County Sheriff and ICE blame each other for previously releasing murder suspect
PORTLAND, Ore. – The Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office issued a statement Friday criticizing Immigration and Customs Enforcement for not sharing information with them about a man accused of murdering his wife.
At the same time, federal officials are accusing Multnomah County officials of preventing them from taking 45-year-old Martin Gallo-Gallardo, a Mexican national, into custody before he was released in a prior domestic violence case.
The sheriff’s office issued the statement in regards to Gallo-Gallardo's arrest. Gallo-Gallardo is charged with murdering his wife, 38-year-old Coral Rodriguez-Lorenzo.
The statement says ICE did not use its authority to “hold people accountable.”
“Federal officials had ample time to do their job. They had his name, address, and his telephone number,” the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office said in a release.
Gallo-Gallardo was previously accused of domestic violence in March. The couple’s daughter accused her father of attacking her mother in a drunken rage, hearing her "mom crying and getting hit," and the “sounds of a physical fight.”
The responding officer wrote that Rodriguez-Lorenzo had a lump above her right eye, but that she refused to answer questions about how much pain she was in.
In their statement, the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office said they did not receive any information from ICE regarding Gallo-Gallardo. They said they cannot hold someone on a civil detainer due to a judge's ruling in the Miranda Oliveras Vs. Clackamas County case.
According to the Clackamas County Sheriff's Office, the 2014 case examined whether the jail was required to hold suspects in custody for up to 48 hours , beyond the time when the person would have otherwise been released, if ICE is investigated whether the person should be removed from the United States.
Clackamas County Sheriff Craig Roberts said the judge's ruling in the case determined that immigration detainers from ICE are "requests" and that they do no provide the necessary legal basis for the jail to hold the person in custody for longer than necessary.
The sheriff’s office says local police, corrections professionals and the district attorney did their best to hold Gallo-Gallardo accountable for his “domestic violent assault.” The case was taken to a grand jury, but they could not hold him accountable without the victim’s cooperation.
“We do not know why she did not cooperate, but we know that many immigrant victims of domestic violence are concerned about how reporting will affect their status and status their children. This a terrible tragedy for her and her children. We remain committed to building a relationship of trust with immigrant communities so they feel comfortable sharing their story. Public safety needs to be for all,” the sheriff’s office said in the statement.
ICE says it placed a civil detainer on Gallo-Gallardo, 45, while he was still in custody in Portland on March 6 and wanted to take him into federal custody for deportation, but the request was not recognized by the sheriff's office.
ICE says border patrol has apprehended Gallo-Gallardo multiple times in the past for unlawfully entering the U.S.
The case spotlights Oregon's first-in-the nation immigrant sanctuary law just as voters will decide Tuesday whether to repeal it. Oregon adopted the law in 1987 to prevent law enforcement from detaining people who are in the U.S. illegally but have not broken other laws.
"It's unfortunate that law enforcement agencies like the Multnomah County jail refuse to work with ICE to promote public safety by holding criminals accountable and providing justice and closure for their victims," said Tanya J. Roman, a spokeswoman for the ICE regional office that covers Oregon, Washington, Idaho and Alaska.
"Sanctuary policies not only provide a refuge for illegal aliens, but they also shield criminal aliens who prey on people in their own and other communities."
Multnomah County officials insisted Friday that they didn't get the request.
Rodriguez Lorenzo was reported missing Tuesday, and authorities determined her body had been found a day earlier in rural suburbs of Portland. Investigators learned she was last seen with her husband arguing at a party, according to a probable cause affidavit.
Detectives went to question Gallo-Gallardo at his job and he confessed to the killing, the affidavit said.
An autopsy found Rodriguez Lorenzo died from blunt-force head trauma and multiple stab wounds.
ICE has now placed a hold on the suspect with the Clackamas County jail where he's being held on the murder charge.