An illegal immigrant from Trinidad is the prime suspect in the murder of a prison guard in New York. Keon Richmond (32) entered the United States from Trinidad in 2001 as a tourist but overstayed. He soon saw a bunch of criminal charges. Court records show that he was discovered by federal agents while he was in prison after being convicted of assault in 2005.
 
When agents of Immigration and Customs Enforcement paid him a visit at a penitenciary in upstate New York, Richmond claimed to be an American, born in Brooklyn. However, ICE soon found out that he had a passport and birth certificate from Trinidad. In addition, he had once been referred to the federal Department of Homeland Security for deportation proceedings in December 2006.
 
Before a judge, Richmond admitted that he is indeed a Trinidad and Tobago island nation. He claimed to be married to an American citizen, but this was not enough to stay deportation. When his case went to the Board of Immigration Appeals, the board upheld the decision in 2012. During that period, another court overturned his assault case in 2007, and he was released from prison and set free.
 
 
When Richmond took his case to the United States Court of Appeals of the 2nd Circuit, the case was sent to federal Department of Justice’s Executive Office for Immigration Review. This year, on July 28, that office upheld the earlier decision in his immigration case, and dismissed his appeal. Just three months later, authorities allege that he torched a vehicle belonging to a female friend on October 13. He was arrested for that crime and charged with arson.
 
Richmond is also the sole suspect in the murder of another ex-girlfriend, Alastasia Bryan (25), a corrections officer who was shot to death while in a car outside her mother’s home in Brooklyn on December 4. He has not yet been charged with that crime. Assistant District Attorney Michelle Kaminsky requested bail of $750,000 for Richmond, arguing before the Brooklyn Criminal Court that Richmond is a flight risk.“There is a prior domestic-violence case, and he is the suspect in the murder of Alastasia Bryan,” she said.
 
Attorney Gregory Watts, who is Richmond’s counsel, entered a plea of not guilty.
 
Judge Michael Gary heard from Attorney Watts that even though Richmond has lost his appeal to stay in the country, no agency is currently moving to deport him. However, ICE claims that it does not know why Richmond has remained in the country and is seeking to remove him. Rachel Yong Yow of ICE told the New York Post that once Richmond has served time in prison, if any, for his crimes, the agency will move to remove him.

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Spero News writer Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat, who also worked as a democracy advocate and election observer in Latin America. His first novel 'Shaken Earth', is available at Amazon.

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