Otto Pojoy-Garcia sat in an orange jumpsuit at the defense table in a downtown Lincoln courtroom and tried to explain to the federal judge why he came back from Guatemala after being deported.
It wasn’t just to make money, the 39-year-old said in Spanish, an interpreter translating via phone line.
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“I was running away to save my life.”
John Vanderslice, his federal public defender, said crime is rampant in Guatemala. Pojoy-Garcia’s wife was killed there. His father-in-law, too.
Pojoy-Garcia knew he could be locked up for returning to the U.S., but took the risk knowing that at least then he’d be safe, the attorney said.
Roughly one-fourth of the nearly 500 criminal cases that
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