INDIANAPOLIS (CBSMiami) – An undocumented immigrant illegally living in the U.S. has been charged in the drunk driving crash that killed a Colts player and his Uber driver early Sunday in Indianapolis.
Manuel Orrego-Savala pleaded not guilty Wednesday morning…one day after he claimed during another court appearance he was not behind the wheel of the pickup truck that killed Indianapolis Colts player Edwin Jackson and Uber driver Jeff Monroe.
“Very difficult couple days talking with both families, talking with our players,” said Colts general manager Chris Ballard.
Police say Orrego-Savala was driving drunk and had a blood alcohol level three times the legal limit when he hit the Uber car that had pulled to the shoulder of Interstate 70.
The 37-year-old was charged Wednesday with leaving the scene of an accident and drunk driving.
Orrego-Savala is an undocumented immigrant with a series of arrests.
In 2005, he pleaded no contest to two drunk driving charges in California. A year later, he was arrested 3 times for drug possession.
He was deported in 2007….then arrested and deported again in 2009.
He has also used an alias- the name he gave to police when he was arrested after the accident.
His checkered past has made him a target of President Trump, who tweeted: “So disgraceful that a person illegally in our country killed @Colts linebacker Edwin Jackson. This is just one of many such preventable tragedies.”
But Jackson’s godfather, who’s serving as the family’s spokesman, says they believe his death should not be politicized.
“They’ve lost a son that brought them joy on a regular basis,” said Daniel Meachum, the Jackson family spokesperson. “Where this gentlemen was from, does not really matter to them. They’re not interested in the politics of it.”
Jackson’s funeral will be held Monday, paid for by the owner of the Colts.
The suspect also faces a federal charge of illegally reentering the country, which carries a sentence of up to 10 years in prison.