Forensic Scientists Testify in Trial of Suspects Accused of Killing Border Patrol Agent

Local News

On May 22, the jury heard from three forensic scientists who worked on the evidence for the capital murder trial of the suspects accused of killing an off-duty border patrol agent, Javier Vega Jr.

A gunshot residue kit revealed there were particles found on two suspects’ hands, Gustavo Tijerina-Sandoval and Ismael Hernandez-Vallejo. 

“These particles if you think of how big they are, if you look at a hair strand which is 100 microns, that’s very small, those particles are one micron or less,” said Juan Rojas, forensic scientist. 

However, after questioning from the defense, it was revealed that particles can be contracted by touching an item that has gun residue particles.

It could be possible the suspects fired a weapon or were close to someone who fired a weapon.

A second forensic scientist who conducted DNA samples for the case, revealed that swabs from stains in the vehicle, and clothing found were from Vallejo, and a boot retrieved was from Tijerina.

Carlos Vela, the forensic scientist who processed the 2008 red Ford Expedition that the suspects were reported driving, found 37 prints.

Three were from Tijerina, 11 from Vallejo, and 23 others were unidentified. 

Tijerina’s prints were also not found on the front of the vehicle, but only on a CD.

There were some items, including firearms, that the forensic scientists were unable to observe prints on, however that is not uncommon. 

The defense also called the forensic scientists’ report on the prints limited, because not all weapons from the case were tested for fingerprints. 
 

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