SAN FRANCISCO — Joeri DeBeer, who was convicted last spring in Orange County Superior Court of manslaughter in the shooting death of his guardian after years of sexual abuse, Thursday was ordered deported to the Netherlands.
Immigration Judge James Vandello ruled that the 18-year-old DeBeer was deportable for committing "crimes of moral turpitude" and for being in violation of the terms of his non-immigrant student visa.
John R. Alcorn, DeBeer's attorney, said he would appeal the judge's ruling to the U.S. Board of Immigration Appeals. DeBeer will be allowed to remain in the country during the appeal, which acting district director Arthur Shanks of the Immigration and Naturalization Service said "usually takes about 18 months."
The immigration judge denied a motion by Alcorn to drop the deportation order. Alcorn argued that the youth's attorney at his Orange County trial had erred in not asking the sentencing judge to recommend against deportation.
He also argued that DeBeer's Orange County attorney, Gary L. Proctor, had inadvertently invalidated DeBeer's student visa by taking him out of the country on a fishing trip to Mexico in July.
Proctor said in a telephone interview that he did not request a recommendation against deportation because he would have been required to give notice to the INS. The INS "could have put a hold on him in Juvenile Hall," Proctor said. "I saw no advantage in tipping them off. They could have come in and contested it then."
Proctor said DeBeer did not lose his non-immigrant student visa status because of the trip to Mexico. He said DeBeer's guardian had never filed the necessary paperwork in the first place. "Joeri had been in violation ever since 30 days after he arrived in this country," Proctor said.
DeBeer's case drew national attention when the jury that convicted him appeared at his sentencing and pleaded with the judge for leniency. DeBeer had been found guilty in the April, 1985, shooting death of Philip A. Parsons, his legal guardian.
Parsons, a convicted child molester, brought the boy back with him from Saudia Arabia at the age of 13, after promising DeBeer's mother to make him a motorcycle-racing champion.
DeBeer was placed on three years' probation last June and sentenced to the 14 months he had already served in Juvenile Hall. Since then, he has been living in a rural community 60 miles east of San Francisco with a family who had befriended him before his trial.
After Thursday's deportation ruling, DeBeer said he did not want to return to the Netherlands. "I have a lot more support here," he said, "friends, love, school--things I missed out on when I was young. I feel like I've been showing I deserve a chance."
Alcorn said DeBeer's hopes for staying in the United States rested both with the Board of Immigration Appeals and efforts by his new guardians, Syd and Jenny Ward, to lobby Reps. William E. Dannemeyer (R-Fullerton) and George Miller (D-Contra Costa) to introduce a bill in Congress that would provide special permission for DeBeer to remain.
Last week, seven of the Orange County jurors who convicted DeBeer last spring met with Dannemeyer on his behalf, Alcorn said. Juror Patricia de Carion has been paying DeBeer's fees at a community college.
DeBeer shrugged his shoulders when asked what he would do if he had to return to the Netherlands.
"I'd get a job, try to finish schooling," he said.
DeBeer said he hasn't heard from his real father in more than six years. His mother, now remarried, lives in the Netherlands, but DeBeer said he has received only three letters from her in the last five months.
After the hearing, he translated a passage from the most recent letter: "I hope you keep your promise about reaching something in your future, but I don't think you will."
With a look of disappointment on his face, DeBeer put the letter down.
"I think she's more interested in her puppies than her 18-year-old son," he said.