Mexico is withholding key witnesses that could exonerate Border Patrol agent Nicholas Corbett of second-degree murder charges and paying for others to testify against him, asserts a union leader.
Brandon Judd, vice president of U.S. Border Patrol Union Local 2544, told WND the Mexican consulate is taking care of all the expenses of three Mexican witnesses to the shooting so they can remain in the U.S. to testify against Corbett.
Corbett has been indicted on second-degree murder charges in Cochise County Superior Court in Bisbee, Ariz., in connection with the shooting Jan. 12 of Francisco Javier Dominguez Rivera, a 22-year old illegal immigrant from Mexico who allegedly was threatening to throw a rock at the officer.
Judd said the witnesses prepared to testify against Corbett are Dominguez’s two brothers and the girlfriend of one of the brothers.
“The Mexican consulate is providing all three with food, housing, and clothing – everything these three individuals need, such that they don’t even have to work while they are waiting to testify,” Judd said.
Judd further charged that the Mexican government is intentionally hiding three other witnesses who could absolve Corbett.
“There were Mexican aliens who Corbett had arrested prior to the incident with Dominguez,” Judd explained. “These three witnessed the shooting from the back of Corbett’s Border Patrol van, and they could see clearly exactly what Corbett was doing.”
Judd said the two brothers and the girlfriend all testified Corbett was pointing a gun at them while he was driving, “yet the three aliens who were in the back of the van said they never saw Corbett holding a gun.”
“Those three witnesses who would have testified for Corbett got sent back to Mexico. Why?” Judd asked. “Why aren’t they still here in the United States when they have important information that could prove that Corbett did not do what the Mexican government and the other witnesses say Corbett did.”
Judd also believes that there were important material facts the Cochise sheriff’s office left out of the statement of probable cause, because officials yielded to pressure from the Mexican government.
“The primary investigator from the Cochise sheriff’s office wrote up a probable cause statement that was given to the Cochise County prosecutor to see if they wanted to bring a criminal case against Corbett,” Judd explained. “In that probable cause statement, the investigator from the sheriff’s office left out some very important material facts that could have helped exonerate Corbett.”
Judd argued that the probable cause statement included the charges by the witnesses favorable to the prosecution who contend Corbett stuck Dominguez extremely hard about the head and shoulders before shooting him.
However, Judd maintains, the Cochise County coroner’s report shows no evidence of bruising anywhere on his body. Yet, the probable cause statement made no reference to the coroner’s report.
Judd points to another instance of information slanted against Corbett in the probable cause statement.
“It is well-documented that this alien was shot because he was holding a rock and was threatening Corbett,” Judd pointed out. “But the probable cause statement picks up the coroner’s conclusion that there was no dirt on the hands or under the fingernails of the deceased. Yet what is left out is that the deceased was wearing gloves at the time of the incident, and this is very clear from the surveillance camera photos that exist of the incident.”
Judd argued that the bias against Corbett stems from pressure the Mexican government placed on authorities in Cochise County to prosecute Corbett.
“What discourages me and the rest of the Border Patrol agents is the influence the Mexican government brings to cause the prosecutions of these Border Patrol agents,” Judd told WND. “If it wasn’t for the involvement of the Mexican government, we don’t think these prosecutions of Border Patrol agents would be happening.
“What is clear is that there is a lot of exculpatory evidence in the Corbett case that was never put into the statement of probable cause by the prosecutors,” Judd said. “Officials in the U.S. are willing to bend over backwards to help the government of Mexico, rather than to protect the citizens of the United States.”
The U.S. Department of Justice refused to help Corbett defend himself against the charges.
Corbett is a union member, and Tucson-based U.S. Border Patrol Local 2544 provided legal representation by retaining private counsel in Arizona.
Mexico objects that Border Patrol agents such as Corbett have used lethal force in situations in which rock attacks or other forms of assault do not represent a proportionate risk.
WND previously reported no criminal investigation of Border Patrol agents Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean had begun until after the Mexican consulate complained the drug smuggler in the incident had his civil rights violated by being shot by Border Patrol agents in the U.S., neglecting to mention the illegal alien had entered the U.S. to smuggle drugs.
WND also reported the Mexican consulate intervened in the case of Rocksprings, Texas, Deputy Sheriff Gilmer Hernandez, aggressively writing a series of letters to U.S. officials demanding the officer be prosecuted.