The Houston County man sent to jail after a dispute over a lottery ticket has two months to leave the country voluntarily.
Jose Antonio Cua-toc, whom authorities say is an illegal immigrant, was arrested last year after a fight over a $750,000 lottery jackpot. He claims the winnings were his, and that the man who collected the money stole his ticket.
Warner Robins Police said Cua-toc threatened Erick Cervantes, his wife and his children, last November. He was charged with violating probation, terroristic threats, and forgery, according to police reports at the time of his arrest.
Now, those charges are on hold, according to Cervantes's attorney, Kelly Burke.
Superior Court Chief Judge George F. Nunn has issued a voluntary departure order, giving Cua-toc until Sept. 6 to arrange travel plans back to his native Guatemala.
The alternative would have been an involuntary departure or removal, meaning Cua-toc would have been deported by immigration authorities and forbidden to return to the United States for 10 years.
Burke explains, with the voluntary departure, Cua-toc has an opportunity to file for a U-Visa, which would allow him to stay in the United States if he could prove a crime had been committed against him. Burke believes that no crime has been committed other than the threats made against his client, Cervantes. Cua-toc's immigration attorney is Julio Moreno of Atlanta.
Moreno did not return our phone calls.
As for the money, the courts have frozen the $750,000 jackpot for the time being.