A 25-year-old Honduran illegal immigrant who posed as a teenager to illegally cross the border into the U.S. has been sentenced to 60 years for killing a Florida man who took him in.
Yery Noel Medina Ulloa, who was living illegally in the U.S. when accused of murder and drew the attention of Ron DeSantis, is sentenced to 60 years. https://t.co/MARqrdOM3V
— Florida Times-Union (@jaxdotcom) March 4, 2023
Yery Noel Medina Ulloa pleaded guilty on Friday to a second-degree murder charge that stemmed from stabbing Francisco Javier Cueller to death in 2021. According to prosecutors, the murder happened only days after the man took him into his care.
Authorities said that they apprehended Medina Ulloa at the southern border of Texas, where he had traveled from Honduras.
But having given them a fake name he said was Reynel Alexander Hernandez and pretending to be a minor, border officials had to allow him to stay in the U.S., in accordance with federal policies that prohibit officials from turning unaccompanied minors away. He was flown to Florida later, where he met Cuellar.
Cuellar had given Medina Ulloa shelter in his home in Jacksonville, where he lived with his four children. He also gave the migrant a job at his family business. Authorities do not know why Cuellar gave Medina Ulloa shelter in his home as they did not discover he lived there until later. But, the illegal migrant reportedly told his mother that Cuellar “treated him like a son.”
Police arrested Ulloa in Oct. 2021 after witnesses called to report seeing him covered in blood. He had been found wandering close to a lake, with a trail of blood leading to a home. Upon a search of the house, responding officers found Cuellar’s lifeless body on the floor of his living room.
Home surveillance camera captured Ulloa stabbing Cuellar and hitting him with a chair multiple times. The 46-year-old’s cause of death was attributed to several stab wounds and blunt force trauma.
In reaction to the case and outcome, State Attorney Melissa Nelson gave a statement pointing to how Cuellar’s murder is another case that brings to the surface the risks associated with the border crisis that has illegal migrants pouring into the U.S.
“As we have seen time and time again, the federal government’s failure to secure our nation’s border has led to a travesty in a local community. This time, tragically, it was our community after an illegal alien murdered an innocent man,” she said.
Nelson further expressed satisfaction at the lengthy sentence Ulloa got, saying that it will make sure he never harms another citizen.