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Bond set for Albertville hit-and-run suspect

Published: Aug. 1, 2014 at 3:13 PM CDT|Updated: Aug. 29, 2014 at 3:13 PM CDT
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Juan Gomez Jorge makes his first court appearance (Source: WAFF)
Juan Gomez Jorge makes his first court appearance (Source: WAFF)

ALBERTVILLE, AL (WAFF) - The man accused of running over and killing an Albertville man earlier this week made his first court appearance on Friday.

The suspect, 38-year-old Juan Gomez Jorge will not be getting out of jail. A judge set his bond at $150,000, saying Jorge was a flight risk. The judge noted that Jorge had few roots in the community, no Social Security number, no driver's license, and that the driver fled the scene with a seriously injured person behind.

Detectives told the judge an immigration hold has been placed on him, effectively making it no bond. Should he make bond, the judge set a special condition that he not operate any vehicle while out.

Albertville police said Jorge hit 23-year-old Bradley Benefield Tuesday night off Baltimore Avenue shortly after 11 p.m.

Benefield died of his injuries the next day.

Also revealed at Friday's hearing was the fact that Jorge had been receiving EBT benefits, commonly known as food stamps. The judge uncovered this information while determining whether Jorge would qualify for a court-appointed attorney.

State officials say illegals can receive the benefits if their children are American citizens. In Alabama, the Department of Human Resources says approximately 27,000 children in the state with nearly 17,000 illegal parents are receiving such assistance.

DHR spokesman Barry Spear says the incomes of illegal parents are considered but that they rely on what income information the illegals provide and what they can track which he admits can be difficult.

In this instance, Jorge told the judge he sold produce in Mississippi and had no Social Security number.

A preliminary hearing for Jorge has been set for Sept. 3.

Copyright 2014 WAFF. All rights reserved.