Illegal Immigrant Sentenced in 2017 Stabbing Death

By Michael Banks
[originally published on on February 27, 2020]

An illegal immigrant from Guatemala will serve at least 15 years in a North Carolina prison before he’s deported back to his home country after pleading guilty Thursday to the December 2017 stabbing death of a 28-year-old man near Crowders Mountain.

Maynor Hernan Ortega, 35, was sentenced to a minimum of 180 months to a maximum of 228 months after pleading guilty to second-degree murder during his appearance in Gaston County Superior Court before Judge Robert C. Ervin.

Ortega, who has been incarcerated at the Gaston County Jail since Feb. 12, 2018, was credited with the 745 days he’s been jailed awaiting judgment.

Ortega, who doesn’t speak English, was assisted in Thursday’s hearing by Falls Seagrave, a Spanish-speaking interpreter. Ortega admitted to speaking and writing Spanish at only a ninth-grade level.

Prosecutor Locke Bell said Ortega was one of three individuals charged with first-degree murder in the stabbing death of Miguel Angel Valle Romero on the night of Dec. 21, 2017.

One of the other individuals, Doris Maribel Alvarado-Perez, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder on April 3, 2019, and was sentenced by Superior Court Judge David Phillips to an identical sentence as Ortega’s — a minimum of 180 to a maximum of 228 months in prison.

The 29-year-old Alvarado-Perez, a Honduran national, is currently being held at the North Carolina Correctional Institution for Women in Raleigh. Her projected release date is Jan. 6, 2036.

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