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Prosecutors accuse defense is stalling in capital murder case of Border Patrol agent

September 20, 2016  |  Posted by: Francesca Falzarano
Prosecutors accuse defense is stalling in capital murder case of Border Patrol agent

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The prosecutor involved in the capital murder case of U.S. Border Patrol Agent Javier Vega, Jr., informed the judge that the defense is purposely delaying the trial.

Chuck Mattingly said, “Somebody is dragging their feet.”

Defense attorneys are just now requesting a psychological evaluation for one of the previously deported illegal defendants involved in the murder.

“Let’s get this clear,” Mattingly, the Texas state prosecutor said. “I’m here right now today. I’ll work this case; I’ll try this case whenever they want to try it. I’m just letting the court know that there is going to be a power change … in Willacy County,” the Valley Morning Star reported.

Mattingly continued: “… judge, this case is over a year-and-a-half old. And if they don’t know whether their client is intellectually disabled, or incompetent or insane, by this time or wasn’t insane at the time of the incident… A year-and-a-half or more is plenty of time to make the decision whether or not he is competent or intellectually disabled.”

August 2nd marked two years since the slaying of U.S. Border Patrol Agent Javier Vega, Jr. The victim was brutally murdered by two previously deported immigrants who were trying to rob him and his family while they were out fishing.

Breitbart Texas reported that 43-year-old Ismael Hernandez and 32-year-old Gustavo Tijerina-Sandoval both face capital murder charges and if convicted, may face the death penalty.

Both suspects have been linked to a string of armed robberies targeted toward fishermen in south Texas. This week, Ismael Hernandez’ attorneys asked that he be evaluated for intellectual disability.

The parties stood before state District Judge Migdalia Lopez of Willacy County. No ruling has been announced.

Carmen Roe, a Houston criminal defense attorney, said in an interview: “The right to a fair trial insists that every citizen is mentally competent to stand trial, capable of understanding the charges and assist in their defense. The promise of a fair trial is never more important than when the State seeks the death penalty.”

Roe continued, “It’s not uncommon for a person to become mentally incompetent over time, particularly while awaiting a possible death sentence.”

The Brownsville Herald announced that the next hearing for the defendants is set for late January 2017.

Members of the National Border Patrol Council (NBPC) have worked to have the agency categorize Agent Vega’s murder as being a “Line of Duty Death” (LODD).

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