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Legal wheels turning to return Winnipeg man who fled conviction for 1977 death of father and son

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A Winnipeg man who has evaded a Canadian jail sentence for more than 30 years is now in the hands of American immigration authorities.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement filed papers to put a hold on Robert Nick Fotti, 64, today — the final day of his nine-month sentence for a felony served in a jail near Houston, Texas. It’s not known when an immigration hearing will be held.

Det. Greg Compton, of the Jacksonville Police Department, the Texan community where Fotti was arrested and charged with the offence in 2008, said the legal proceeding could be the first step in the man being deported back to Canada.

"As long as he doesn’t show up here again, that would be fine with me," Compton said.

Fotti was convicted after he ran through a red light at Dublin Avenue and Border Street and struck a motorcycle on April 10, 1977, killing 43-year-old Gordon Hochman and his 17-year-old son Stewart.

After a criminal proceeding which went all the way to the Supreme Court of Canada, Fotti was convicted of dangerous driving and sentenced to nine months in jail.

But Fotti never served the sentence. He fled to the United States, where he lived for decades under another name.  He was serving a sentence in Texas for tampering with a governmental record.

Manitoba Justice has said previously that if Fotti were deported back to Canada he would have to serve the sentence for dangerous driving.

History

Updated on Tuesday, July 30, 2013 at 5:05 PM CDT: Adds current sentence.

9:15 PM: Photo added

July 31, 2013 at 9:37 AM: Corrects location of accident.

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