San Diego

Mistrial Declared Again in Oft-Deported Immigrant's DUI Hit-and-Run that Injured Child

Constantino Banda was deported 15 times, authorities said.

A mistrial was declared again Monday in the case of the oft-deported unauthorized immigrant accused of driving drunk and causing a crash that badly injured a boy returning from Disneyland.

Constantino Banda, 38, was charged with driving under the influence, driving without a license and felony hit and run.

A judge declared a mistrial on all three counts.

This is was the second time a mistrial was declared in Banda's case. In September 2017, a San Diego judge declared a mistrial after jurors deadlocked over the first three counts, according to prosecutors.

They found Banda guilty of misdemeanor battery, vandalism and driving without a license. They could not, however, reach an agreement on the DUI and hit-and-run charges.

On May 6, 2017, Banda collided with a family's car on Camino De La Plaza and Dair Mart Road in San Ysidro. Ingrid and Benjamin Lake were driving home from Disneyland with their 6-year-old son, Lennox Lake, when they were struck.

Lennox was seriously injured in the collision with a fractured skull. He was released from the hospital in late May 2017 and has continued recovering at home since then.

The Banda has a lengthy history of being deported from the U.S. He was deported 15 times in the past decade. The most recent deportation took place in January 2017, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

After the collision, Banda allegedly fled the scene and was arrested shortly after by CBP officials, police said. The authorities then determined that Banda and his passenger were in the country illegally.

Benjamin Lake previously told NBC 7 he hopes the justice system will function correctly in this case.

"I just hope the justice system does what it's supposed to do and things are handled properly," he said.

On Saturday, after a fun day at Disneyland; Benjamin, his wife, and 6-year-old Lennox, were driving home in San Ysidro. As NBC 7’s Ashley Matthews reports, their lives changed in an instant.

Jacob Sapochnick, an immigration attorney told NBC 7 although Banda has been deported an unusual number of times, it is common for unauthorized immigrants to re-enter the U.S. however they can.

"People know exactly where to cross, when to cross, what time to cross, how to do all that," Sapochnick said.

In 2016, there were more than 23,000 people deported from San Diego.

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