Second Suspect in Border Patrol Agent’s Death Pleads Guilty

Local News

Ismael Hernandez Vallejo pleads guilty in the murder of Border Patrol Agent Javier Vega Jr. He received a 50-year sentence.

In 2018 Gustavo Tijerina-Sandoval, the first suspect to go to trial, was found guilty and given the death penalty for Agent Vega Jr.’s death. 

The two undocumented immigrants ambushed Vega and his family while they were fishing in 2014.

Vega Jr.’s wife, father and mother witnessed the fatal shooting, and were present in court today when Vallejo pled guilty, along with a group of border patrol agents. 

“I would just like to think the DAs office and the Attorney General’s Office, Judge Migdalia Lopez, the Border Patrol, they’ve been so supportive they haven’t left her side and we’re OK with what he got,” Vega told Local 23 News. 

Last summer, Vallejo’s co-defendant Gustavo Tijerina Sandoval was also found guilty of capital murder after a nearly month long trial. Sandoval was given the death sentence. 

Vallejo stood silent in court while listening the impact statements of Vega’s wife and mother, as they tearfully recalled the day when the family went to their usual fishing spot in the Rio Grande Valley on August 3, 2014. 

When Vallejo and Sandoval ambushed the family, shooting Vega Jr and his father Javier Vega Sr. 

Vega Jr.’s children were present during the shootout.

Marie Vega shared her testimony last week with the President during his visit to the Rio Grande Valley.  

Like Sandoval, Vallejo was also in the country illegally, and will be deported after his 50-year sentence. 

As part of today’s plea deal, Vallejo agreed to testify against Sandoval in any appeal proceedings or re-trials. 
For informaiton on Sandoval’s trial visit

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