Driver who killed 7 motocyclists in NH yet to be deported

FILE - Volodymyr Zhukovskyy, of West Springfield, Mass., center right, charged with negligent homicide in the deaths of seven motorcycle club members in a 2019 crash, speaks with defense attorney Steve Mirkin, left, at Coos County Superior Court, in Lancaster, N.H., Monday, July 25, 2022. The prosecution has rested Zhukovskyy's case on Wednesday, Aug. 3. He faces negligent homicide and other charges in connection with the June 2019 crash in Randolph, New Hampshire (AP...

FILE - Volodymyr Zhukovskyy, of West Springfield, Mass., center right, charged with negligent homicide in the deaths of seven motorcycle club members in a 2019 crash, speaks with defense attorney Steve Mirkin, left, at Coos County Superior Court, in Lancaster, N.H., Monday, July 25, 2022. The prosecution has rested Zhukovskyy's case on Wednesday, Aug. 3. He faces negligent homicide and other charges in connection with the June 2019 crash in Randolph, New Hampshire (AP... Steven Senne

By BARBARA TETREAULT

The Berlin Sun

Published: 11-16-2023 3:39 PM

RANDOLPH — Nine months after a federal immigration judge ordered Volodymyr Zhukovskyy deported to his native Ukraine, the truck driver in the fatal June 2019 crash is still in the United States and out of custody.

Zhukovskyy, 27, was found not guilty of all criminal charges in the crash that killed seven motorcyclists on Route 2 in Randolph. The motorcyclists were members of the Jarhead Motorcycle Club, which is made up of current and retired Marines.

Zhukovskyy faced 23 charges for manslaughter, negligent homicide, driving under the influence, and reckless operation. Eight were dismissed by the trial judge, and a Coos County jury acquitted him of the remaining 15 charges.

Following Zhukovskyy’s arrest in 2019, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement issued a retainer for him, citing an extensive criminal history that included three prior drug convictions, driving after suspension, furnishing false information to a law enforcement officer, and larceny.

Denied bail, Zhukovskyy spent over three years in jail pending trial. After his acquittal on Aug. 9, 2022, he was taken into custody by ICE at the Grafton County Department of Corrections in Haverhill and served a Notice to Appear before an immigration judge.

At the time of his arrest, Zhukovskyy had permanent residency status, having moved to the United States with his parents when he was 10 years old. He was living in West Springfield, Mass. His lawyer in the deportation hearing, Kevin Murphy, asked for asylum but on Feb. 3, 2023, an immigration judge ordered Zhukovskyy deported.

But deportations to Ukraine have been suspended since March 2022 because of the armed conflict there with Russia, which ICE officials say prevents them from safely returning individuals to the country.

As a result, Zhukovskyy was released from custody at the Moshannon Valley Processing Center in Pennsylvania under an Order of Supervision on April 28. Under an Order of Supervision, immigrants are allowed to live and work in the U.S. provided the individual meets regularly with ICE representatives and agrees to follow a specific set of conditions. Specific conditions of the order are not made public.

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“U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement makes custody determinations daily, on a case-by-case basis, and in accordance with U.S. law and U.S. Department of Homeland Security policy, considering the merits and factors of each case while adhering to guidelines, and legal mandates. Noncitizens apprehended and determined to need custodial supervision are placed in detention facilities and those released from secure custody are part of ICE’s Enforcement and Removal Operations non-detained docket. ERO officers weigh a variety of factors when making general custody determinations, including criminal record, immigration history, community ties, flight risk, and whether the individual poses a potential threat to public safety,” an ICE spokesman said.

Efforts to contact Murphy for information about where Zhukovskyy is currently living were unsuccessful.

These articles are being shared by partners in The Granite State News Collaborative. For more information visit collaborativenh.org.