On Thursday’s Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 am to 8:00 am – Leahy welcomed Angel Mom Michelle Root to the show to speak about the death of her daughter by the hand of a Honduran illegal immigrant who at the time of incident had a previous warrant for his arrest but was still let off on bond.
Towards the end of the second segment, Root went on to explain that her daughter was cheated out of her American Dream while Eswin Mejia still remains at large. She went onto to describe the great legislation now taking a foothold in Iowa and how funding will be taken from cities and counties if they refuse to cooperate with ICE or DHS.
Leahy: We are joined now on the line by Michelle Root. She’s an angel mom and co-founder of a group called Angel Families. In January of 2016, a drunken driver hit the back of her daughter Sarah Root’s car. I think Sarah was 21 at the time at a street corner in Omaha.
She was hit by a fellow by the name of Eswin Mejia who was in the US illegally. He was booked but immigration agents failed to hold him. He posted bail and vanished. And joining us now is Michelle Root. Angel Mom Michelle. Welcome, Michelle to the Tennessee Star Report.
Root: Thank you so much. thank you so much for having me.
Leahy: We’re delighted that you’re here. Do I have that story correct about the death of your daughter Sarah Root in 2016?
Root: You do. She had just graduated from Bellevue University with a 4.0 Bachelors in Criminal Investigations. And she was on her way home that night after celebrating her accomplishment where she was stopped at that stoplight at 33rd and Elm when Eswin Mejia rear-ended her going 70 plus miles an hour in a 35 mile an hour zone.
His blood alcohol, he was 19 years old. His blood alcohol was .241 and Sarah was rear-ended causing her to be brain dead by the time they had gotten her to the hospital. And the paramedics had gotten there pretty fast from what I’ve been told. And they had to restart her heart because her heart had stopped because of the brain injury.
Sarah was an organ donor so she was able to save six people with major organs that night. And like you said, he posted bond. I can’t even fathom how he was able to. I can’t even wrap my head around why ICE would not detain him under our previous administration. It’s just been a nightmare.
Leahy: And so he posted bond. How much was the bond? Do you recall?
Root: I do. The judge had set the bond at 50,000.00 in which he had to come up with 10%.
Leahy: So he came up with 5,000.00. He was put in jail? Was he put in a county jail or a city jail? Where was he put?
Root: I believe it was the county jail in Omaha, Nebraska. However, I really don’t know if it was the county or if it was the city jail. But he had a leg injury so he was at the hospital at the same time my daughter was in the emergency room. He was transported to the jail that Sunday evening of January 31st.
And then he was arraigned on Monday morning. The bond never changed because they went back and forth saying, “We didn’t know Sarah was dead because of her being an organ donor.” We had her on life support so we could get the recipients in place and notify them and bring them to the hospital.
So then he was arraigned again on Friday which I believe was February fifth of 2016 where he posted the bond that evening around eight o’clock in the evening. And we had heard rumors. We were making the funeral arrangements when we were told that they were going to have another bond hearing but it never changed from Monday to Friday even though she had died.
It never changed from the amount it was on Monday to the amount it was on Friday. And so then we had heard rumors that he was going to post bond. And so we had called the investigators and they looked into it and they told my ex-husband, “I am so sorry. Bond was just posted about a half-hour ago.” And we were notified by the investigator that Friday evening and somebody had already posted the bond and he was gone.
Leahy: And he disappeared and he’s not been seen since?
Root: Nope. That’s correct. You know, he had a warrant out for his arrest that was issued in May of 2015 and failed to appear.
Leahy: He already had a warrant for his arrest?
Root: Yes. Yes, prior to him even killing Sarah. So, I mean it’s been unbelievable the amount of wrongs that were done. And the judge had made a big issue. And they don’t know if they didn’t think that we would make an issue but then when we did with the judge saying, “How do you not know he had a warrant for his arrest? So you think he’s going to come back after he just killed somebody?”
Because my understanding was a traffic incident where he was driving the wrong way down a one-way street and child endangerment. So whether he didn’t show up for his court appearance in May of 2015 or whatever it was to issue that warrant for his arrest. I’m like, “How do you not know this? You’re the judge.”
They didn’t put an ankle monitor on him or anything. And I understand you can tear those things off. Cut them off or whatever. But I would have felt that somebody was doing something to get justice for my daughter to hold this man accountable. But it wasn’t the case. And so he was supposed to show up to get the ankle monitor on and then court-appointed alcohol and drug testing. Which of course he didn’t show up for. We have no idea where he is now.
Leahy: So, Eswin Mejia was an illegal alien? Do you know what country he was from? He entered the country illegally?
Leahy: What country was he from?
Root: He was from Honduras. He came over at age 16 from what we found out from our blessed state Senator Chuck Grassley. And then Senator Sass from Nebraska both went to bat for us to get this information because they would not give us any information. But he would come over unaccompanied at age 16 in 2013.
He was transported from Nogales, Arizona to somewhere in California and we don’t know where yet. Where from California he went to Tennessee where he was reunited with his illegal brother who was also in the United States. And then from Tennessee, they came to Nebraska.
Leahy: So he was an illegal alien. Came under the DACA? Was this under the DACA program?
Root: We’ve never got verification that it was. But with all the stuff that I’ve read, he would have qualified.
Leahy: He would have qualified.
Leahy: So, he breaks the law in the United States, coming into the United States. Then in 2015 he is arrested for driving the wrong way on a one-way street. A warrant is issued for his arrest. He has a hearing he fails to show up for that hearing. Warrant issued for his arrest then.
There’s a warrant outstanding from May of 2015 until January of 2016 when drunk, running at 70 miles an hour he runs into the back of your beautiful daughter’s car, killing her. He spends five days in jail. He gets out of jail in early February 2016 on a basically, put up $5,000.00 cash on a $50,000.00 bond and he’s not been seen since?
Root: Correct. Correct.
Leahy: Michelle, how do you live with that?
Root: It is a struggle every day. And I continue to fight to seek justice for Sarah because she has none. It’s never going to bring her back. But I just want people to know this is what American citizens go through. Angel Families are the end result of open borders. Nobody’s accountable for when these illegal aliens do things like this.
I mean, there are several of us that have the same stories. Five days in jail. Low bond. Like our loved one’s life was worth nothing. They just throw us aside like, “Sorry.” Well no, my daughter was 21. Had her full life ahead of her. Had accomplished one of her goals she set for herself. Her American dream.
Her wanting to succeed in life. Her fighting to get great grades. To get a great job. To make a life for herself cut short because we, not me, but others felt sorry for Eswin Mejia at 16 who when he was stopped and told them he was not afraid to be deported back to Honduras. He was just coming here to work.
Leahy: Under the Obama Administration the Department of Homeland Security refused to issue a detainer so local police in Omaha could keep Eswin Mejia in custody five days later. He posted bond. A $50,000.00 bond. Put up $5,000.00 and has not been seen since. How do you live with this every day? What gets you moving every day when your beautiful daughter was taken in such a horrific way and apparently there’s no justice for her yet?
Root: It is to get justice for her first and foremost. But also to let people know what happens. If we don’t secure our borders. This is still going on to this day. And we need to be stricter. We need to secure our borders. Take care of American citizens. It is not fair to our loved ones that have been killed by illegal aliens to continue to put the illegal aliens first and not be able to get justice for those that have lost loved ones.
Sarah, like I’ve said, she had so much life ahead of her and everythings cut. I only have two children, Sarah, and my older son. And the devastation that I see him go through every day and I have to stay strong for him. The emotions that you go through 24/7. You wake up in the morning and you have panic attacks.
Leahy: And it’s still awful. and the reality is still very very bad. So, when President Trump was elected he changed these policies and now Department of Homeland Security is issuing detainers of illegal aliens who are in local jails, county jails, city jails to hold on so they can be taken in federal custody.
But, now a number of city governments are saying, “Well, we’re not going to follow the law and hold these illegal aliens that have committed crimes.” Here in Nashville, you may not be aware of this Michelle. Tuesday, the Mayor, David Briley, who’s facing a reelection battle, issued an executive order where get this, and you have to respond to this.
He is instructing illegally I believe, Metro employees not to cooperate with ICE and DHS agents who give them detainers for illegal aliens who’ve committed crimes and who are in custody of local jails. What do you think of that?
Root: I think it’s ridiculous. Again, where is the justice for the victims?
Listen to the full hour:
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Tune in weekdays from 5:00 – 8:00 am to the Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy on Talk Radio 98.3 FM WLAC 1510. Listen online at iHeart Radio.
Photo “Michelle Root and Daughter” by Michelle Root.