Illegal Immigrant Charged in Fatal Hit-and-Run of Nevada Senator's Adviser

Illegal immigrant charged in hit-and-run that killed senior adviser to U.S. Senator, reigniting debate on immigration and public safety.

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Hadeel Hashem
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Illegal Immigrant Charged in Fatal Hit-and-Run of Nevada Senator's Adviser

Illegal Immigrant Charged in Fatal Hit-and-Run of Nevada Senator's Adviser

Elmer Rueda-Linares, an 18-year-old illegal immigrant, has been charged in connection with a hit-and-run accident that killed Kurt Englehart, a senior adviser to U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV). The fatal crash occurred on April 6, 2024, in Reno, Nevada.

According to authorities, Rueda-Linares entered the United States illegally on March 12, 2021, near the Rio Grande City, Texas, Port of Entry. He was later released on his own recognizance in June 2021. The crash that killed Englehart happened when Rueda-Linares allegedly fled the scene after the two-car collision.

Englehart, 38, was described as a dedicated public servant who worked tirelessly to improve the lives of those in rural Nevada, especially Indigenous communities, cattlemen, miners, and underrepresented populations. He had worked for Senator Cortez Masto for the past eight years and was considered a skilled political strategist and beloved figure across the state.

Initially, Rueda-Linares was charged with felony hit-and-run, but the charge has since been reduced to failing to stop at the scene of an accident. He is currently being held on a $100,000 bail, and his next court appearance is scheduled for April 18. The Department of Homeland Security has also placed an immigration detainer on Rueda-Linares , requesting that local authorities hold him until he can be deported.

Why this matters: The tragic death of Kurt Englehart, a respected public servant, has reignited the debate over illegal immigration and its impact on public safety. As a senior adviser to a prominent U.S. Senator, Englehart's loss has attracted national attention and raised questions about the effectiveness of current immigration policies.

Senator Cortez Masto, who has voted with President Biden 93% of the time since he took office, expressed her grief over the loss of her longtime staffer. She described Englehart as a "beloved figure" and a "dedicated public servant." The senator also expressed confidence in the local police and prosecutors, stating that she looks forward to justice being served in this case. A memorial service for Englehart will be held on April 20 in Reno, Nevada.

Key Takeaways

  • Elmer Rueda-Linares, 18, charged in fatal hit-and-run of Senator's aide
  • Rueda-Linares entered US illegally in 2021, released on own recognizance
  • Victim Kurt Englehart, 38, was a dedicated public servant for Senator Cortez Masto
  • Rueda-Linares charged with failing to stop, held on $100K bail, faces deportation
  • Incident reignites debate on illegal immigration's impact on public safety