No Justice for North Carolina Man Killed by Illegal Alien - After three years, ‘flight-risk’ fugitive flees felony charges

By Dave Gibson
Volume 25, Number 1 (Fall 2014)
Issue theme: "Illegal Alien Crimes in North Carolina"

On October 5, 2011, Luis Alberto Rodriguez, 44, sped through a flashing red light at the intersection of Colington Road and U.S. 158 in Kill Devil Hills, and crashed his Chevy Lumina into the pickup truck driven by Paul Davis. The truck was hit with such force that it flipped over, killing 51-year-old Joe Storie, a passenger in the vehicle, according to court documents.

Two other passengers, Joe’s wife, Alicia Storie, and his sister, Chris Storie, were both critically injured in the wreck and were taken to Norfolk General Hospital in Virginia by air ambulance.

Rodriguez was taken to the same hospital with serious injuries.

Incredibly, days later, Rodriguez walked out of that same hospital, embarking on what would be, only his first flight from justice.

The Outer Banks Voice reported:

Sources within the Kill Devil Hills Police Department told the Voice they requested aid from the Norfolk Police Department to ensure Rodriguez did not leave the hospital. But they were informed that Norfolk could not spare the manpower, although the state would argue later that there were Norfolk police officers stationed at the hospital.

Police called Sentara Norfolk General every day while Rodriguez was a patient to check on his recovery and were told, “he is in no condition to walk out of here” each time.

Kill Devils Hills police, along with other agencies, eventually tracked the criminal alien to the state capital (and “sanctuary city”) of Raleigh, and brought him back to Dare County.

Rodriguez was charged with one count of felony death by vehicle, two counts of serious injury by vehicle, and one count of driving while impaired. The illegal alien claimed poverty, was appointed a public defender, and a secured bond was set at $100,000.

Despite the fact that he was in the country illegally and claimed to be “without assets,” on January 9, 2012, Rodriguez appeared before Dare County District Judge J.C. Cole, with his own, hired lawyer, for a second bond reduction hearing (after an initial hearing saw District Judge Edgar Barnes uphold the higher bail amount).

His defense attorney, Phillip Hayes, said of his client:

…his evidence of risk of flight. I submit is little or none, and the fact that he does have connections to Dare County, a residence in Dare County, family in Dare County. For all intents and purposes he is a citizen of Dare County and he’s not going anywhere, Judge.

Apparently, Judge Cole was impressed by the illegal alien’s “family values” and actually reduced the secured bail amount to $50,000. Rodriguez found a bondsman and was released with a pending court date of April 23, 2012.

Of course, Rodriguez failed to show for court and the illegal alien is still a fugitive.

This reporter recently sat down for an interview with Joe’s sister, Chris Storie, who bore witness to her own brother’s painful death, and who, herself, was badly injured that fateful night. That exchange follows:

Q: When did you find out that your brother had passed away?

A: I found out about my brother’s death after my family back home did. They would not tell me anything. I kept asking for Joey and telling them to call him for me. He was always my protector and I needed him there with me. Hours after I woke up they sent a chaplin in and I knew before she even opened her mouth. It still does not seem real.

Q: When did you find out that the illegal alien had escaped the hospital?

A: After I got back home from Norfolk hospital, Officer Tatterson from the Kill Devil Hills Police Department called and told me that Luis Rodriguez was under 24 hour watch to make sure he did not leave the hospital. Later we learned he was never under any kind of watch after all and he fled the hospital.

Q: What is your opinion of the police and prosecutor?

A: It was the Kill Devil Hills Police Department (KDHPD), and I was told lie after lie. Chief Britt stood my sisters up for a meeting we had scheduled with him after we had driven seven hours to meet with him. Then he would not take my calls. After I gave a fake name he came right to the phone and was not very nice at all when he found out it was me.

The Assistant District Attorney, Christen Simmons, was horrible! She treated me terribly and did not do a good job at the second bond reduction hearing. Judge Barnes was the judge in the first hearing and did not reduce the bond because he said Rodriguez was a proven flight risk. The second judge, Judge Cole, reduced it from $100,000 to $50,000. We later found out his wife is an attorney who defends illegal immigrants. Luis of course fled again. He came up with approximately $13,000 to get away. There is so much more I could tell you, but it would take days or weeks.

Q: What injuries did you suffer in the crash?

A: I had a massive head injury, neck injury, and many cuts on my feet and legs. My whole body was one huge bruise. The mental part has been the worst though. I now have PTSD, survivors guilt, and depression. I had to put myself in the hospital last learn how to live again.

I just had surgery on my neck August 14, 2014, because the injury to my neck worsened over time and a disc was pressing into my spine. I’m out of work again for awhile. I missed five and a half months initially from the crash, then two more months when I went in the mental hospital, now three months for this latest surgery. I have always been a very strong, determined person, but this really sent me reeling. Losing my brother is the hardest thing I have ever gone through. For my family as well.

Q. What would you like everyone to know about this tragedy?

A. The man who has devastated my family showed no remorse whatsoever about killing Joey. He is illegal, fled twice, and I truly believe he had help from our so-called justice system in getting away. He had the opportunity to apologize and say he was sorry to mine and Joey’s sons, but he didn’t. The illegal (expletive) should have never been in this country to start with! He had just gotten a ticket two months prior to this crash for running a red light! If this had been an American citizen, he would have been held accountable as he should be.

The KDHPD had the nerve to tell me it was THEIR culture to drink and drive. I told them that they need to keep their culture and their (expletive) in their own country! Not bring it to OURS!

The Dare County Community Crime Line has offered a reward of $1,000 for information leading to the capture of Luis Alberto Rodriguez, and the Storie family has put up an additional $1,000. Anyone with information on the whereabouts of this fugitive is asked to call the Crime Line at (252) 473-3111 or (800) 745-2746.

Investigators believe Rodriguez may be living in Tennessee, the Raleigh/Durham area, or in Honduras.

About the author

Dave Gibson, a former legislative aide to a Virginia state senator, has been working as a freelance writer for many years. His work has been published in many newspapers and magazines, including the Washington Times.