County Attorney says multiple failures in...

Posted at 3:54 PM, Feb 23, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-23 18:33:03-05

A drunk driving suspect, who slammed into a vehicle in south Omaha killing the driver, has disappeared after being released from jail on a low bond.

Prosecutors say there were multiple breakdowns in the system that should've kept Eswin Mejia, 19, behind bars to face his alleged crimes.

Douglas County Attorney Don Kleine wants people to know his office doesn't set bond, and in this case didn't have a chance to argue why they wanted a higher bond.

Police say on January 31st, Mejia was street racing when he slammed into the back of an SUV driven by Sarah Root at 33rd & L Streets.

Root, 21, was a recent college graduate and later died at the hospital.

Mejia's blood alcohol level was more than 3 times the legal limit.

Days later, Judge Jeff Marcuzzo sets Mejia's bail at $50,000-10%.  He posts $5,000 to get out of jail, and hasn't been seen since.

Kleine says his prosecutor never had a chance to speak on why Mejia deserved a higher bond.

"There were certainly substantial facts there for a bond to be set we didn't find out about his illegal status.  We knew that there might be an issue with a regard to immigration but that wasn't until after the bond was set,” Kleine explained.

Mejia was illegally in the country from Honduras, and had lived here for about 3 years.  He had skipped out on a misdemeanor court appearance before.

Kleine says that ICE needs a system to notify law enforcement faster especially with serious charges, and wonders why an immigration hold wasn't put on him as well.

US Immigration & Customs Enforcement tells KMTV that when a person doesn't have a felony history they don't make it a priority.  ICE says they allow a person to go through due process before holding them for immigration violations.

“The fact is that they're here, there's definitely probable cause they've committed a crime, they're here illegally I don't know what more that it takes to put some sort of restriction on them getting out of jail,” Kleine described.

Mejia is scheduled for a preliminary hearing on Friday.

An arrest warrant has been issued, and authorities continue to try and track him down.