Judge: Felony Charge Against Jessica Colotl Stands

Cobb District Attorney Pat Head, who is expected to file a motion this week in the case, told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that he believes "current law prohibits prosecuting this case further."

Cobb County Superior Court Judge Mary Staley refused to toss a felony charge against Jessica Colotl, the Kennesaw State University graduate whose 2010 arrest for a minor traffic violation brought national attention to the issue of illegal immigrants in public colleges.

According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Cobb District Attorney Pat Head this week will file a motion in the case. Because Colotl did "everything she was required to do" as part of an agreement that his office made with her, the false swearing charge should be dismissed, Head told the AJC.

Colotl completed a pretrial diversion program in February to avoid a conviction for lying to authorities about her address during that 2010 arrest. The program included 150 hours of community service, according to the AJC.

In March 2010, Colotl was pulled over for blocking the traffic flow in a campus parking lot, charged with driving without a license and turned over to immigration authorities.

Then a junior political science student at Kennesaw State, her case fueled the debate about whether illegal immigrants take seats in public colleges away from lawful residents.

Kennesaw State officials and immigration advocates rushed to her defense. Colotl's first one-year deferment allowed her to complete her studies, while the second allowed her to stay in the country long enough to attend her graduation in May 2011. 

She was granted a third one-year deferment this year.

Information from the Kennesaw Patch archives was used in this report.

Related content

  • May 8, 2012: Colotl Allowed to Stay Another Year
  • Oct. 8, 2011: Negotiations to Be Renewed in Jessica Colotl Case
  • May 18, 2011: Voices: Cobb’s D.A. King Applauds H.B. 87
  • May 11, 2011: 
  • Nov. 30, 2010: Is Moderation on Illegal Immigration Impossible?

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JACQUE October 02, 2012 at 04:54 PM
It would seem, according to Judge Staley, that Ms. Colotl was not qualified for the diversion program in the first place as is reported in the Marietta Daily Journal article from yesterday. I read that Ms. Colotl has misdemeanor convictions, which would disqualify her or any other person with such convictions with entry into the Cobb County diversion program. Judge Staley believes all similarly situated Defendants should be treated in the same manner. In other words she has received special treatment by the agreement made with D.A. Pat Head (diversion program) that she didn't deserve because she had prior convictions. I suggest if The Patch reports the story that it should include all the story.


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