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Suspect convicted in murder of Border Patrol agent’s sentenced to death in South Texas

June 7, 2018  |  Posted by: Francesca Falzarano
Suspect convicted in murder of Border Patrol agent’s sentenced to death in South Texas

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Gustavo Tijerina sentenced to death for the 2014 murder of off-duty Border Patrol agent

Only six days after convicting one of two men behind the slaying of a U.S. Border Patrol agent who was fishing with his family back in 2014, a jury ruled that the man should be condemned to death by lethal injection.

The remaining defendant is awaiting trial.

Jurors in Brownsville, Texas, voted for the death penalty instead of a life sentence in the case against Gustavo Tijerina for his role in the fatal shooting of U.S. Border Patrol Agent Javier Vega.

Tijerina, a Mexican native who was illegally in South Texas, was recently found guilty of capital murder for his part in the killing of Vega during a robbery gone wrong, ValleyCentral reported.

The man was also convicted of attempted capital murder after opening fire on Vega’s father, Javier Sr.

Gustavo Tijerina-Sandoval left, and Ismael Hernandez-Vallejo (middle) were charged with the 2014 murder of Javier Vega Jr. (far right)

In 2014, Vega, his wife, kids, and his parents went fishing in Willacy County, near Lyford.

Tijerina and Ismael Vallejo attempted to rob the family, setting off a fierce gunfight where Vega was killed and his father was injured.

Tijerina and Vallejo were apprehended after an intense manhunt by state, local, and federal authorities.

Vallejo is expected to face trial in the near future where prosecutors are expected to pursue the death penalty.

Vega’s murder led to a battle between the former leadership of the U.S. Border Patrol and the union that serves them, the National Border Patrol Council, since the agency would not categorize Vega’s killing as a death in the line of duty.

It wasn’t until 2016 when under increasing pressure from the union and various politicians, the agency redesignated Vega’s slaying.

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