Judge Refuses to Allow Release of Teen Driver in Deadly Texas Crash

On Behalf of | Oct 5, 2012 | Personal Injury

A 15-year-old South Texas boy facing nine counts of murder crashed a minivan loaded with 19 people in April because he was bumped by a pursuing Border Patrol vehicle, his lawyer said Thursday.

The agent involved in that pursuit testified Thursday at a detention hearing in juvenile court that he only came upon the scene shortly after the April 10 crash. That countered testimony two days earlier by a Palmview resident who said he witnessed the wreck and saw the Border Patrol vehicle bump the fleeing minivan.

Ultimately, Hidalgo County district Judge Jesse Contreras decided the boy, who is not being identified because he is a minor, should stay in detention pending trial.

“The van was not driving 100 mph, it was not the reckless driving of this young man and the purported behavior, but in fact it was a direct result of the contact, of being run off the road by the Border Patrol agent that led to these tragic deaths,” Jaime Aleman, attorney for the boy, told the judge Thursday.

Prosecutor Amy Tellez had objected to the questioning of a Border Patrol agent, arguing that it did not speak to the question of probable cause that was needed to hold the boy in detention. She said it was clear that the boy was evading arrest when the crash occurred — he was arrested two days later — and that in his statement to investigators, he never mentioned being bumped by Border Patrol.

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