Illegal immigrant in Milford death ruled incompetent
(MyFoxBoston.com) – The illegal immigrant who was drunk driving when he hit and dragged a Milford man to his death has been ruled incompetent to stand trial.
Judge Janet Kinton-Walker says Nicolas Guaman's "unique cultural background" and language barrier means that he doesn't understand the court process. The court also said that he lacks the ability to consult with his attorney properly.
The judge ordered Guaman's attorney to find an interpreter and educate him on the court process.
In August 2011, 23-year-old Matthew Denice was hit and dragged to death while riding his motorcycle.
FOX 25 spoke to Maureen Maloney, Matthew's mother, on the phone during the FOX 25 Morning News about the ruling. Maloney said she believes this is a stall tactic by the defense, but hopes it clears the way for trial.
"My first reaction yesterday was devastation," Maloney said. "I just can't believe that he was found mentally incompetent based on his education level and unique language. However, after being able to think about it overnight, I'm hoping that this will close whatever loopholes that the defense has to try to appeal or get a retrial if we ever get to a trial."
Judge Kinton-Walker was appointed in 2009 by Gov. Deval Patrick.
This case has caused outrage across the nation and FOX 25 has covered the story extensively.
Maloney and her family will meet with the district attorney Thursday to talk more about the ruling and the next steps in the case.
"I think this does give the defense attorney the opportunity to request the bail for Guaman," said Maloney. "Up until now, he has not been eligible for bail, so he may be eligible to be released on bail because of this recent decision."
Guaman pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder charges. He and the new interpreter are due back in court in June.
FOX 25's Melissa Mahan asked Maloney whether she believes Guaman does not understand the court process in the United States because of his language barrier.
"No, I don't believe it," said Maloney. "In the past, he's had other run-ins with the law. He's been in court multiple times on other charges prior to all this in August 2011 and a Spanish interpreter or no interpreter was used for those hearings and he's always managed just fine."