CHATTANOOGA, Tennessee (WDEF) — A criminal case involving a domestic stabbing has been turned over to federal authorities because of the suspect’s questionable immigration status.
Zacarias Salas-Rufino aka Carlos Delposo stands accused of attempted first degree murder. According to police, Salas-Rufino stabbed his ex-wife multiple times Monday night because of her phone conversation with another man.
“Her screams were so bad. I’ll never forget it,” said neighbor Sharon Brown who called 911.
Brown told News 12 that Salas-Rufino stabbed his wife outside their apartment building located on Navajo Street.
“She rolled over on that rock wall over there, and blood started gushing out and I knew then that it wasn’t like before.She needed some attention. She looked at and said help,” Brown said.
The ex-wife was taken to a local hospital in critical condition and Salas-Rufino was arrested and charged with attempted first degree murder.
He was taken to the Hamilton County Jail under the name Carlos Delposo, but he was later identified as Zacarias Salas-Rufino.
Immigration attorney Terry Olson told News 12 that it’s unusual for immigration authorities to get involved in a city criminal case unless other factors are in place.
“It appears here the alien could already have a prior order of removal or has another felony conviction, so now ICE has to investigate to see what has to be done,” Olsen said.
According to Hamilton County Jail officials, Salas-Rufino assaulted detention staff Tuesday night and had to be placed into a restraint chair. Jail officials have also confirmed that he has asked to be sent back to Guatemala, but it’s not that simple if he’s found guilty of attempted murder.
“He would have to serve time here first,” Olsen said.
If authorities confirm Salas-Rufino is a violent felon in who is in the U.S. illegally, he could be transferred to the Dekalb County Alabama Detention Center which houses illegal immigrants while investigators review charges filed against him.
As of Wednesday evening, Salas-Rufino was still being held in the Hamilton County jail on a $250,000 bond.
As for Salas-Rufino’s ex-wife, there is no word on her current condition.
The couple’s two children are now in protective custody with the Department of Children’s Services.