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Man convicted of killing UMHB student in drunk driving accident to be deported

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Posted at 2:10 PM, Mar 01, 2017
and last updated 2018-07-24 21:30:43-04

The family of a 22-year-old University of Mary Hardin Baylor killed in a drunk driving accident in 2007 is getting some closure.

Amber Rice died on June 16, 2007  near the intersection of highway 53 and North Elm Loop in Bell County.

"Amber was very kind. Very loving. She was 22 and she had her whole life ahead of her,” Augusta Rice, Amber’s mother, said. “She is in my heart and she is always with me.”

According to the Department of Public Safety, Juan Francisco Molina who was driving drunk rear-ended the car Rice was a passenger in. After that, her boyfriend’s car spun several times and ended in a ditch. Troopers said he left the scene but later he was arrested.

He pleaded guilty to intoxication manslaughter with a vehicle and fail to stop and render aid. He was sentenced to a 15 year concurrent sentence. He is eligible to be released in June on parole.

Augusta Rice, the mother of Amber Rice had concerns Juan Francisco Molina, an undocumented immigrant convicted in this case, may not be deported.

"I was real upset when I heard he would be released around June 1st and that he would be released in our parole supervision. To me that is a stab in the heart because he can't get back on the road and kill somebody else,” Rice said. “I just can’t live with myself if he kills somebody else.”

Therefore, she reached out to Rep. Hugh Shine (R-55) for help.

"I'm delighted that I was able to participate in the process to help the Rice family get closure. So they can have a peace and go forward and know that justice was done,” Rep. Shine said.

He me with Rice and her daughter to give them the news about the deportation. 

"Today, we are able to tell a victim’s family that the man who took Amber from them will not be allowed to roam the streets of Texas,” Shine said, adding “Illegal immigrants convicted of heinous crimes in this state should always be sent to ICE and tagged for deportation."

Rice credits the deportation becoming a reality to Shine and his staff. 

 "Without his help I don't think we would have gotten Mr. Molina deported,” Rice said. I owe him gratitude for his help for listening to us and listening to us in this process."

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement are expected to take custody of him after his release from prison in June.

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