A Glenpool family, who lost a son to a drunk driver, wants to know why the suspect has disappeared
Wednesday, September 1st 2004, 9:59 am
By: News On 6
A frustrating and sensitive issue, one that many say, must be addressed. Immigrants who don't have proper documentation, no drivers' licenses or insurance.
News on 6 anchor Tami Marler talks with a couple that says, 2 years after a drunk driver ran a Glenpool stop sign, they still don't know who killed their son.
Debbie and Charlie Smith say their son Michael Richards[pictured], was one of a kind. He'd spent 4 years in the Navy and was trying to meet the weight requirement to join the Air Force.
They say they'll never forget September of 2002, the night two police officers came to their door to tell them Michael had been killed in an accident with a drunk driver.
They were even more shocked to learn the driver didn't have a license or insurance. The vehicle he was driving wasn't his and the tag was registered to another car.
Glenpool Police say the driver of the other car was Jesus Naranjo-Gomez, a resident alien from Mexico, who'd recently pleaded guilty to drunk driving in DeKalb County, Georgia. Authorities there had a warrant for his arrest when a Glenpool Police officer allegedly saw him run a stop sign and collide with Richards.
An Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation report indicates Naranjo was intoxicated at the time. Naranjo was transported to St. Francis Hospital with serious head injuries.
Glenpool Police say he checked out before they could arrest him and they don't understand why it took the Tulsa County District Attorney eight months to file first-degree manslaughter charges. Enough time for Naranjo to be long-gone.
Officials say if found guilty on the manslaughter charge, Naranjo could face four years to life in prison.