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Border & Immigration

Judge: Border Patrol Agent's Family Not Victims In Case

Judge Rules Against Slain Agent's Family
Judge Rules Against Slain Agent's Family

A federal judge ruled Wednesday against the family of murdered Border Patrol agent Brian Terry.

U.S. District Court Judge James Teilborg said the family needs better evidence to convince him they should be listed as victims in the court case related to a federal gun walking program.

The family of the agent had asked to be made part of the case against Jaime Avila, the accused gun buyer in Phoenix whose weapons allegedly turned up at the agent’s crime scene. The guns were part of a scandalous federal gun walking program called Operation Fast and Furious.

The family has tried to be designated victims in the case because of that connection. The judge ruled no and said that they have two weeks to convince him otherwise.

In his opinion, the judge said:

"In attempting to establish a nexus between the crimes charged and the death of Brian Terry, the Terrys offer evidence that the gun used to kill Brian Terry was one of the many guns a Defendant in this case purchased by making a false statement. This connection is insufficient for the Court to conclude that but for Defendant’s charged false statement, Brian Terry would not be deceased."
Judge's Ruling Against Terry Family
Read the judge's ruling against Brian Terry's family.
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Teilborg also said the government will have one final opportunity to argue against the family's response before he makes his decision.

Both the family's lawyer and the U.S. Attorney's Office in San Diego declined to comment on the judge's decision.

Brian Terry was killed last December near Nogales. So far, only one person has been identified and charged with his murder.