Posted: Sep 18, 2012 4:01 PM
Updated: Sep 18, 2012 4:41 PM
McALLEN - A witness on Tuesday testified that Border Patrol agents may have caused a crash that left nine illegal immigrants dead in Palmview.
The man said in court that Border Patrol agents bumped a van full of illegal immigrants causing it to flip. The crash happened in April.
The witness, Abelardo Villarreal, said the agents bumped the van from behind on Expressway 83. The van flipped after the bump, he said.
Police said a 15-year-old from La Joya was driving the van. He was charged with murder.
The teenager has been in juvenile detention for the past five months. His attorney, Jaime Aleman, claims the boy is innocent and should be released.
Prosecutors objected to the testimony. They said the hearing was not a criminal trial, but a status hearing to determine if boy will remain in detention.
The agents involved in the chase showed up to testify at Tuesday's hearing. They left before court proceedings ended. They have been ordered back to court tomorrow.
The judge ruled the teenager will remain in custody.