Liberal Jury Pays Illegal Alien Maid It Convicted of Grand Larceny, Calls Thief a ‘Victim’
A 19-year-old illegal alien pregnant with her second child who stole three rings worth $5,000 from a Fairfax County, Virginia couple whose home she cleaned as a maid sent by a cleaning company.
THis week the illegal maid was rewarded by the jury that convicted her of felony grand larceny with a $20 bonus after the jury paid her $60 fine in the case.
The jury says it reluctantly convicted her and decided to punish her as lightly as possible, fining her what she makes for a day as a maid, because they saw the thief as a “victim”.
The stolen rings were the real victim’s wedding ring and her grandmother’s engagement ring from 1943 that were appraised in 1996 at $5,000, as well as a third ring of little cash value.
Sandra Mendez Ortega, image via the Daily Mail/Fairfax County Sheriff’s Office.
“The general sentiment was she was a victim, too,” said the jury foreman, Jeffery Memmott. “Two of the women [jurors] were crying because of how bad they felt. One lady pulled out a $20 bill, and just about everybody chipped in.” Memmott then contacted the public defender in the case, and went to the home of Sandra Mendez Ortega. He gave her the jury’s collection, which totaled $80.”
According to the Washington Post, which first reported the story, Sandra Mendez Ortega is an illegal alien. The victim in the case, Lisa Copeland, told the Post the prosecutor told her he knew but did not tell the jury Mendez Ortega was an illegal alien.
After she was arrested, Mendez Ortega spent eight days in jail until she was released on $1,000 bond. The jury was not told that. The jury also was not told that Mendez Ortega apparently is not in the country legally, as Copeland said she was told by prosecutors, because it was not relevant to whether she stole the rings. “I think it’s relevant to the case,” Copeland said. She said the penalties of a felony conviction, such as not being able to vote or buy a gun, would not be actions available to an immigrant in the country illegally anyway.
“It really irritates me that she came here and committed a felony,” said Jeff Copeland, Lisa Copeland’s husband. “People are coming here because there is opportunity here. But when they come here and commit crimes, that’s where you’ve got to draw the line.”
(AUTHOR’S NOTE: Fairfax County residents are some of the best educated, most worldly and wealthiest and liberal people in the nation. They can spot an illegal alien right away as they have willfully turned the D.C. suburb in to a haven for illegals. Mendez Ortega’s appearance on the witness stand during the penalty phase after her conviction made it clear she fit one of the profiles of illegals-she doesn’t speak English and worked as a a maid.)
At trial, the facts were not really in dispute. The jury did not hear from Mendez Ortega during the case in chief, but they were already sympathetic to her. “We didn’t feel she should have been tried and convicted,” said Memmott, the foreman. “We tried every way we could to find some way of not convicting her. But the legal standard was very clear.” Two other jurors agreed that the felony conviction was appropriate, given the facts and the law.
Lisa Copeland was amazed. “The fact that she confessed,” she said, “and they didn’t want to convict her? I don’t get this. That’s basically saying it’s okay to steal.”
Then during the sentencing phase, Mendez Ortega took the stand. She faced a possible sentence of up to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $2,500. She told the jury she had dropped out of school after sixth grade, that she first became pregnant at 15, that she was pregnant again at 19 and had no job, according to court records.”
The real victims, Lisa and Jeff Copeland, image via Facebook and the Daily Mail.
This interview Ortega gave to WRC-TV shows her only speaking Spanish.
The jury foreman told WRC:
“I could see in her that she was a good person that made a mistake.” He also said he feels good about what he and his fellow jurors did. “They weren’t out anything. They got back their property. They got justice,” he said, referring to the victims.”
Sandra Mendez Ortega and jury foreman Jeffrey Memmott, screen images via WRC.
The Post reported the jury foreman went to Ortega’s home to offer her more help, but that she declined.
Memmott said he and his wife went to visit Mendez Ortega at her home in Falls Church. “We talked to her, offered to help her with anything we could,” Memmott said. “She declined.”
Speaking through an interpreter, Mendez Ortega said after her sentencing, “I became happy when I heard they wanted to give me that” money. “Thank you very much to all of them, God bless them.”
More details of the case, and more from the real victims in the case, can be read at the Post article.