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Arlex Cardenas-Flores faces deportation to Honduras after serving his sentence.
MATT GENTRY | The Roanoke Times
Arlex Cardenas Flores (left) appears with his attorney Kris Olin in Montgomery County Circuit Court in Christiansburg.
Wednesday, October 2, 2013
CHRISTIANSBURG — A man who attacked a Virginia Tech graduate on campus in the summer of 2012 was sentenced Tuesday to two years in prison.
Arlex Cardenas-Flores, 34, was found guilty in June of felony abduction. Because he is not a U.S. citizen, the federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement has filed to have Cardenas-Flores deported to Honduras after he has served his sentence.
On June 29, 2012, Cardenas-Flores attacked Shannon Sweeney and tried to force her into a pickup truck that was parked next to Henderson Lawn, according to a summary of the evidence by county Chief Deputy Commonwealth’s Attorney Patrick Jensen.
The driver of the pickup truck, Felix Ramirez Miranda, pulled Cardenas-Flores off Sweeney, who then escaped, authorities have said. Sweeney received minor scrapes from the incident.
A witness, who was able to get a description of the truck and its license plate number, came to Sweeney’s aid and called police. The information given by the witness led university police officers to Cardenas-Flores, who was working at a construction site in the former Shultz Dining Hall area.
Cardenas-Flores had two false IDs with him when he was interviewed by Virginia Tech police, Jensen said.
According to online records, Cardenas-Flores pleaded not guilty in June and had a bench trial in Montgomery County Circuit Court.
Using an interpreter, Cardenas-Flores told the court Tuesday that he does not feel guilty.
“She knows and the other person there knows,” he said. “The only thing I feel guilty of is having gone to that place that night.”
He did not make any other statements.
Cardenas-Flores’ lawyer, Kris Olin, had argued for a lesser sentence of probation or up to six months in jail, as the sentencing guidelines suggested.
But Jensen said that Cardenas-Flores was given an opportunity by the government in 2010 to voluntarily deport himself. After he did not do so, a deportation order was issued against him.
Because of that and the nature of the crime, Jensen asked the judge to sentence Cardenas-Flores to five years in prison. He said Sweeney has reported that the incident changed her life and that she continuously worries that something similar could happen again whenever she is in public.
Circuit Court Judge Bobby Turk sentenced Cardenas-Flores to eight years of unsupervised probation upon his release.
“Putting you on supervised probation won’t do us any good,” Turk said, referencing Cardenas-Flores’ pending deportation.
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