An illegal immigrant who killed an eight-year old boy while drunk driving his BMW through California was released from prison back into the United States after less than three years — only to be arrested again for reoffending, when he was again released on bail, records obtained by The Daily Wire show.
Karmjit Singh was arrested for DUI by the California Highway Patrol near Fresno on November 12, 2023, despite having been sentenced to six years in prison on August 11, 2020 for manslaughter for drunkenly speeding a BMW into a family of three at 100 miles an hour, killing eight-year old Maverick Martzen.
The boy’s father, Scott Martzen, says it’s “beyond frustrating” tracking the man through the legal system as his family grieves its son. It is not even the five-year anniversary of Maverick’s February 20, 2019 death.
The Indian citizen was already a felon when he killed the boy — he had a 2016 felony DUI, which makes his latest offense a felony, according to a charging document filed in Superior Court of California in Fresno on November 27. Yet California released the recalcitrant illegal on bail after his latest DUI. He was let out on a $72,000 bail, secured by Aladdin Bail Bonds at $45,500, court documents show.
Maverick would “100%” be alive today if the government had deported Singh in 2016 after his first felony conviction in 2016, Martzen told The Daily Wire. He said the country is “not at all” better for having him here, in contrast to the promise showed by Maverick, a gifted athlete, advanced student, and godly son, he said.
“What does it take” to be deported, asked Scott Martzen, Maverick’s father. “He killed a kid, he’s got an expired visa, no drivers license, 2 DUIs, a third that should have been a DUI but was lowered, and he’s still able to live here… it’s beyond frustrating.”
After his latest arrest, Singh was also charged with “false personation for bail and surety,” records show. He remained out on bail from November 13 to December 4, when the judge ordered him held in the Fresno County Jail. Taxpayers bore the cost for a public defender and Punjabi translator.
Jail records show that Singh currently has an “INS detainer” on him, an indication of coming action from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
Agency spokeswoman Denise Hauser did not explain to The Daily Wire why he was not deported after killing a child. ICE knew he was an illegal immigrant suspected of murder at the time and placed a hold on him in 2019, but it did not result in his deportation.
Tony Botti, a spokesperson for the Fresno County Sheriff, said that during criminal proceedings in that case, Singh was in the local jail until February 2021, when he was transferred to state prison to serve his six-year term. He explained, however, that nobody in the state ends up serving full sentences.
“Once in prison, he is only responsible for serving up to 50% of his time,” Botti told The Daily Wire. “It may even be 33% now. California is always changing its rules.”
Botti said California law prevented the sheriff from proactively alerting ICE to illegal immigrants charged with violating more laws. “To abide by SB54, we do not contact ICE,” he said, referencing a law that bars assisting federal immigration agencies. “Due to SB54, we have a hands off approach.”
The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation did not return a request for records showing Singh’s release date.
Prosecutors did not charge Singh with DUI even though he had alcohol in his system.
Jeff Hammerschmidt, a former Fresno prosecutor who represented the Martzens, said because Singh had a prior DUI, “they actually could have charged him with murder with implied malice.” Instead, they did not charge him with DUI at all, and he pleaded guilty to vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence. Prosecutors also could have charged him with murder and negotiated down to felony DUI causing death and great bodily injury, which has a much stiffer term, he told The Daily Wire.
The prosecutor in the case, Ron Wells, has since been promoted to judge, records show.
Both of Maverick’s parents were in the car when Singh sped his brother’s 7-series BMW into them, and both were injured. A lawsuit against Singh and his brother went nowhere, with Singh purportedly having no assets, Martzen said.
He said authorities did not notify them when Singh was release from prison, or when he reoffended.
He said that California is deceiving the public by saying that people got one sentence, but actually letting them out in only a fraction.
“First, if someone is here with an expired visa and gets a DUI, they should be sent back. If that person has no license, hits a family, and kills a child, they should be sent back,” Martzen said. “They shouldn’t drop the charges down. The DA felt it would be easier to get a conviction if they dropped the DUI, which caused it to go from 25 years in prison to six,” he said.
While Singh has gone to prison, quickly been released, and continued to reoffend, all without being deported, Maverick is no longer part of the country, a hole that Matzen feels every day.
“He’d be 13 now. We lost out on who knows what he could have accomplished, the sky is the limit for that kid,” he said. Maverick was their only child, but just eight months ago, they had a new baby boy, overcoming health issues from the crash that made pregnancy difficult.
To honor the gifted athlete, who was the first draft pick for a baseball team of 12-year olds when he was eight, the family started a nonprofit called M30 to help child athletes. While Major League Baseball played with no fans in the stands during COVID, a cardboard cutout of Maverick occupied a seat at the San Francisco Giants’ stadium.
“Every day is a hard day. Every day we wake up knowing it’s going to be a hard day because we’re missing Maverick,” he said.