U.S. Doesn’t Want Border Violence Mentioned In Trial

El Paso Times

Recent incidents of border violence echoed all the way to Washington, D.C., and Mexico City. Now the issue has seeped into at least one court case.

The prosecution in the case of two Border Patrol agents who allegedly shot an undocumented immigrant in the buttocks a year ago is seeking to exclude from the jury trial any mention of border violence, in particular the recent standoff in Hudspeth County.

The motion, filed by the U.S. Attorney’s office last week, asks the judge to instruct the defense not to mention during arguments or witness questioning ‘the alleged dangerous nature of the border.’

Court documents show the government is anticipating that the defense will use the current warnings over increased drug activity at the border to excuse the actions of agents Jose Alonso Compean and Ignacio Ramos. The agents shot Osvaldo Aldrete Davila, a drug smuggler, near Fabens as he ran back to Mexico.

Stephen Peters, Ramos’ attorney, said he wouldn’t discuss his defense strategy in details, but said that ‘A key factor is what he (Ramos) reasonably believed at the time of the shooting. The circumstances on the border as well as the activity the alien was involved in are relevant.’

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