Judge Says Hixson "Pillar Of The Community" Would Be Alive Except For Illegal Immigrant

  • Tuesday, July 9, 2024
Donald Rackley
Donald Rackley

Judge Boyd Patterson said Tuesday that a Hixson "pillar of the community" would be alive today if Israel Martin Alonzo had not come into the country illegally.

The Criminal Court judge told Alonzo, "Clearly this is the worst case scenario - an illegal immigrant coming to the country and committing a crime that results in the death of what is indisputably a pillar to this community. He's a father to two sons, a Scout leader, a music minister in his church. But for you being here illegally, he would still be with us here today."

Judge Patterson said, "You are sentenced to serve two years in the Department of Corrections, then hopefully you will be deported. I hope I never see you again."

Alonzo, who was 18 at the time 62-year-old Donald Wayne Rackley was struck and killed along Norcross Road, pleaded guilty to lesser charges - leaving the scene of an accident where a death occurred, failure to maintain lane, failure to have insurance and DUI.

A prosecutor said gray hair and clothing from the victim were found on the battered front of the Alonzo car.

The victim's wife, Nancy Reinhart Rackley, said, "The charges are inadequate. It's very frustrating." She said she had expected that the defendant would be charged with vehicular homicide or reckless homicide.

She called it "a travesty of justice."

Ms. Rackley said her husband had left her office around 11:30 p.m. after they argued and went walking "to clear his head."

She said, after his mangled body was found in a ditch, "I screamed for two hours - mainly on what I was going to tell the two children."

She said her husband of 21 years "was a Scout leader and a church musician, who had homeschooled our sons" - ages 17 and 15 at the time of his death.

Ms. Rackley read from the medical examiner's report of the extreme injuries suffered by her husband when the car left the roadway and slammed into him. It included heavy skull damage, an aorta almost severed, and two broken legs. The car was said to be traveling at a high rate of speed.

Judge Patterson told Ms. Rackley he believes that the DA's office would have brought stronger charges had they had the proof to go before a jury. He said he did not know the details of the case, but he said there may have been an issue of identity since Alonzo was not seen behind the wheel of the car.

Police found that Alonzo had left the restaurant/bar where he worked around 11:30 that night and was intoxicated. He never returned to work and was initially the object of a search.

At the time he was on bond for another DUI he had picked up a couple of months earlier. He did not have a driver's license or insurance.

Donald Rackley was also an Eagle Scout, a member of Mensa, the International Brotherhood of Magicians, a member of IBM Local Ring 112, the Storytellers Guild, and Abba’s House. He was active in church in music and theater ministry.

He had careers as a computer operator at Buster Brown for 18 years, a homeschooling father for 18 years, and most recently before his death, entertainer, motivational speaker, magician, and seasonal Santa Claus.

Israel Martin Alonzo
Israel Martin Alonzo
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