Fake News: 'Dreamer' Did NOT Stomp 83-Year-Old Man To Death In Texas

Fact Check

  • by: Alan Duke
Fake News: 'Dreamer' Did NOT Stomp 83-Year-Old Man To Death In Texas

Did an illegal immigrant who had the "Dreamer" status stomp an 83-year-old man to death in Texas? No, that's not true: There is no evidence that Silvano Echavarria, a 23-year-old Texas resident, was not either a U.S. citizen or a legal immigrant when he was arrested for the murder of Pedro Munive, an elderly grandfather whose lifeless body was found in the parking lot of a Pasadena, Texas apartment complex in August 2019. The U.S. Marshal's news release about Echavarria's capture and the local reporting do not mention the suspect's citizenship status, but details of his previous criminal history would disqualify him from protection from deportation under DACA, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.

The false claim originated from an article (archived here) published by illegalaliencrimereport.com on September 3, 2018 under the title "'DREAMER' STOMPED 83-YEAR-OLD MAN TO DEATH IN TEXAS. It opened:

U.S. Marshals tracked a violent criminal accused of stomping an 83-year-old man to death to Lacombe and arrested him after a standoff.

WGNO reported that 23-year-old Silvano Echavarria is awaiting extradition for the brutal murder of the elderly grandfather in Pasadena, Texas.

Echavarria stomped on the victim's head 74 times and punched him 25 times before leaving his lifeless body in a parking lot, according to the U.S. Marshals.

Authorities said Echavarria fled to Lacombe after Texas authorities began to move in.

This is what social media users saw:

The misleading story includes no sourcing for the claim that Echavarria was a "Dreamer." A search of local and national reporting did not find the claim repeated. The U.S. Marshals Service issued two statements after his arrest in Louisiana and neither indicated the suspect was in the United States illegally or that he had applied for DACA protection from deportation. ABC 13 TV in Houston reported that Echavarria had a serious criminal record and had been on probation -- which he violated -- for several years before the 2018 killing:

Eyewitness News did an on-camera interview with Echavarria in December after he said he escaped a fire at a Pasadena apartment complex.

Echavarria is no stranger to the law. In fact, he was charged with stabbing someone in 2012 and then records show he violated his probation.

The Houston Chronicle's website offered more details about his criminal record:

Echavarria already had an active warrant for his arrest in Harris County, issued on March 21, court records show. He had received deferred adjudication on a felony aggravated assault charge from 2012, and allegedly violated his probation by failing a February drug test.

In that case, Echavarria pleaded guilty to stabbing another man with a knife.

Echavarria's criminal record would have prevented his gaining "Dreamer" status. The 7th requirement under the DACA guidelines reads:

Have not been convicted of a felony, significant misdemeanor,or three or more other misdemeanors, and do not otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety.

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  Alan Duke

Editor-in-Chief Alan Duke co-founded Lead Stories after ending a 26-year career with CNN, where he mainly covered entertainment, current affairs and politics. Duke closely covered domestic terrorism cases for CNN, including the Oklahoma City federal building bombing, the UNABOMBER and search for Southeast bomber Eric Robert Rudolph. CNN moved Duke to Los Angeles in 2009 to cover the entertainment beat. Duke also co-hosted a daily podcast with former HLN host Nancy Grace, "Crime Stories with Nancy Grace" and hosted the podcast series "Stan Lee's World: His Real Life Battle with Heroes & Villains." You'll also see Duke in many news documentaries, including on the Reelz channel, CNN and HLN.

Read more about or contact Alan Duke

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