The State Rests, in Capital Murder Trial of Off-Duty Border Patrol Agent

Local News

The state has rested and has a charge prepared for Gustavo Tijerina-Sandoval, one of the suspects accused of killing off-duty border patrol agent, Javier Vega Jr., in 2014. 

Today the defense called witnesses who had previously testified in the trial before, including Willacy County Sheriff Larry Spence, who was questioned when Tijerina saw a magistrate.

Daniel Solis, who was demoted for mishandling the evidence from the case, by leaving it in his office instead of an evidence locker and Major Ernesto Garcia were also questioned.

The defense asked if the Texas Rangers, who had been conducting interviews for the case, knew about the mishandling of the evidence.

“The Rangers, that I understand, it was explained to them that the office or that the evidence had been secured in that office,” Garcia said. 

Richard Hitchcox, a Forensic Firearm and Toolmark Examiner, was also called to the stand, regarding Javier Vega Sr.’s AR-15 that was at the scene of the shooting.

The defense argues that Vega Jr. fired the AR-15, one of the defendants hit the magazine, and the bullet ricocheted and struck Vega Jr., and at that point the weapon was not operable, contradicting Marie Vega’s testimony that she fired the weapon. 

“If the magazine was in the condition in which I received it, it would not have been capable of feeding cartridges,” Hitchcox said. 

Judge Magdalia Lopez said closing arguments are expected to take place next week. 

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