Posted on November 27, 2020

California Church Stabbing Suspect Had Been Deported Three Times

Louis Casiano, Fox News, November 25, 2020

homeless man accused of fatally stabbing two people inside a California church over the weekend was deported three times and never turned over to federal immigration officials before the attack, despite multiple arrests and convictions for violent crimes, authorities said Wednesday.

On Sunday, Fernando De Jesus Lopez-Garcia, 32, allegedly stabbed five people inside the Grace Baptist Church in San Jose. {snip}

The lack of cooperation between local police and federal immigration agents because of California’s sanctuary policies was criticized by a high ranking federal agent who said the attack could have been avoided.


The church frequently provided shelter and meals to homeless people in the area, officials said. Lopez-Garcia had utilized its services in the past and sometimes worked with church staff to set up services, officials said.


Lopez-Garcia’s criminal history includes convictions for disturbing the peace, giving false information to police, resisting arrest and assault with a deadly weapon, which resulted in a two-year prison sentence.

At the time of the stabbing, he had a pending misdemeanor domestic violence charge in Santa Clara County that stemmed from a June arrest. He was granted supervised release, which was revoked after failing to appear in court.

{snip} At the time of his June arrest, Lopez-Garcia, a Mexican citizen, was on probation for a felony domestic violence conviction in a nearby county, officials said.

An immigration detainer was sent to the Santa Clara County jail to hold Lopez-Garcia so Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents could take him into custody upon his release. Notification to ICE would have been allowed under California’s sanctuary policy, Garcia said, but the request was not honored and he was released.

The county’s sanctuary policy bars local law enforcement agencies from contacting ICE about the pending release of inmates who had been living in the United States without legal permission.