Suspect in Deadly Fishing Trawler Attack Had Been Released Over ICE Objections

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement said an immigration judge had granted Franklin Freddy Meave Vasquez bond despite their objections

Federal immigration officials say the Mexican national charged with killing a fellow crew member on a fishing vessel was released on bond after he was charged in Virginia with forcible abduction.

Franklin Freddy Meave Vasquez, 27, faces a murder charge following the fight Sunday aboard the fishing vessel Captain Billy Haver about 55 miles off Nantucket, Massachusetts. Two others were also injured.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement says Vazquez is in the U.S. illegally. He had been arrested in Newport News, Virginia, in March on the abduction charge. An ICE spokesman said an immigration judge had granted Vazquez bond despite ICE objections and he was released from custody.

According to the office of U.S. Attorney Andrew Lelling, Vazquez was armed with a hammer and a knife when he assaulted one victim aboard the fishing vessel, who then saw another victim lying on the deck bleeding. Vazquez allegedly struck a third crew member before climbing up the mast as the people on board tried to capture him.

A German cruise ship that was nearby met up with the trawler and took two of the injured fishermen aboard. One of the men was pronounced dead soon after by that ship's doctor.

The fishing trawler, based out of Seaford, Virginia, was 60 miles east of Nantucket at the time of the incident.

Vazquez faces one count of murder and one count of attempted murder. If convicted of both charges, Vazquez could face life in prison and $500,000 in fines.

It's not clear if Vazquez has an attorney.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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