Victims' Rights Caucus



Mr. Speaker, I recently got a letter from a grieving family in Florida. Their young 21-year-old son was killed 3 years ago in a senseless homicide by an illegal. The family is still seeking justice, however. This is their son's story.

On August 15, 2007, Brandon Randolph Michael was on the way to his lunch break. This is Brandon's photograph right here. He was driving to the credit union to cash his payroll check. His vehicle was struck by a car driven by a twice-deported illegal named Mario Tellez. Brandon's car flipped over several times and landed on its hood. Brandon was thrown into a ditch.

The illegal driver, Mario Tellez, got out of his vehicle and calmly sat on the curb. He did nothing to help Brandon. He did not call for aid. He did nothing but watch Brandon struggle when he took his last breaths.

Tellez refused to admit he was driving the vehicle, and Brandon's family had to go through a torturous, lengthy trial.

Brandon's family found out that Tellez had been in this country illegally for 7 years. He was working and sending his money back to Mexico, even after having already been deported two times.

It took a jury only 20 minutes to find him guilty of driving without a license and causing the death of another person, that being Brandon. The defendant was sentenced to only 2 years in the penitentiary, 2 years for taking the life of another individual.

Tellez has now served the 2 years for murdering Brandon Michael, and, upon release, he was deported yet again. But here is the rest of the story.

Tellez's friend, a Richard Curtis, admitted during the trial that he harbored the illegal fugitive for years and hid him out, and Curtis was never prosecuted.

It was Richard Curtis' automobile that Mario Tellez was driving when he killed Brandon Michael. Curtis worked for the Federal Government. And, get this. He worked for the IRS. Don't the laws apply to Federal bureaucrats as well as other people in this country?

So the family asked the Florida State Attorney's Office, ICE, State, and local law enforcement officers to enforce the law. The family is asking them to charge Richard Curtis with harboring, aiding, and abetting an illegal fugitive in this country.

But no one has prosecuted this apparent lawbreaker. And why not? No one seems to be talking. Brandon's family deserves some answers.

Brandon's parents, Mr. and Mrs. Robert Michael, wanted me to know how precious their son Brandon was to them.

Here is what they said about him. They said he was a fun person to be around. He loved life, he celebrated with people, and he was seldom ever sad. He made others happy. He was looking forward to getting married and starting a family. And he was a Dallas Cowboys fan. He played the keyboard. And he played several different sports growing up, from T-ball as a small child to football in high school. He grew up with a loving middle-class family that raised him to respect people and respect the law.

Brandon loved giving to those that had less than him. He helped feed the hungry. He often called his friends and asked them for blankets, coats and shoes so he could give them away to the needy in his area. While in middle school, Brandon and his sister were pages for the local city council meetings. He worked hard for the car that he was driving on that dreadful day he was killed by a person illegally in this country.