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Interpreter Problem Delays Hearing In Fatal Milford Hit And Run Case

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WORCESTER (CBS) – The family of a motorcyclist killed by a hit and run driver in Milford is getting frustrated.

On Tuesday, the case against the illegal immigrant accused of plowing into 23-year-old Matthew Denice sputtered once again.

Matthew Denice was killed in a crash in Milford

Matthew Denice was killed in a crash in Milford

Nicholas Guaman was supposed to get a mental competency hearing, but instead wound up on the phone, frustrating the family of the man he’s accused of killing.

“It’s definitely harder than most days because you’re facing people that contributed to the death of your son,” said Denice’s mother, Maureen Maloney.

Denice was killed riding his motorcycle in August of 2011.

Police say a drunken Guaman ran a stop sign in Milford, plowed into Denice, and dragged him a quarter mile trying to get away as the victim screamed for help.

After several delays, defense attorneys were set to contend that Guaman is mentally unfit to stand trial.

Prosecutors stood ready to refute that, arguing that a man who slipped into this country illegally and evaded detection for several years while getting a job, getting married, and despite several arrests, is clearly competent.

It was obvious that he is very competent to get into this country,” said Denice’s father, Michael Maloney.

But that debate never got started, because the interpreter, strangely available only by phone, chatted briefly with Guaman and determined she could not translate for him.

The interpreter picked for the hearing speaks the Bolivian dialect of Guaman’s tribal Spanish, not the Ecuadorian version he speaks.

So, after 17 months of watching from the front row, and wearing their memorial bracelets, the victim’s family must weather yet another delay.

“It is frustrating for me because I put this whole incident locked away in an area that I don’t like to go to,” said Denice’s father.

But they say they will go there as many times as it takes to get justice for Matthew.

Attorneys are shooting for a hearing date in late January. Another man who was in the truck with Guaman fled to Ecuador shortly after.

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