Judge denies bond for Brownsville bombing victim
Thu, 16 May 2013 20:56:30 GMT —
A federal judge has denied bond for a Brownsville drug trafficking suspect whose body was burned during a package bombing.
Jesus Mauricio Juarez, Jr. appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge Ronald Morgan early Thursday afternoon.
The 26-year-old Browsnville man is accused of working with at least four others to ship hundreds of pounds of marijuana up north.
Handcuffed and shackled, several family members watched as Juarez pleaded not guilty to the charges.
Defense attorneys Fred Kowalski and Carlos Cisneros asked Judge Morgan to issue a bond based on medical and family issues.
Although he had no visible scars, Juarez continuously scratched burn wounds under his clothes on his legs and side.
Kowalski told Judge Morgan in open court that 50 percent of Juarez's body was burned in the January 11th explosion.
The Brownsville defense attorney that his client has to wear compression gloves and other specialized clothing to control the constant itching.
Kowalski said his client was not a flight risk and had been interviewed by the FBI and DEA in Houston area where his daughter, who was also injured in the explosion, is receiving medical care.
"He moved to Houston to be nearby," Kowalski said in court. "He got a job responding to emergency incidents at oil rigs for $20 dollars an hour. His job is waiting for him in Houston."
Kowalski argued that the federal detention center in Raymondville was not equipped to care for an inmate who is also a burn victim.
Both Kowalski and Cisernos argued that Juarez needed the job to support his common-law wife, their injured 5-year-old daughter and another 8-year-old child.
Cisneros told Judge Morgan in open court that Juarez's daughter and the family were still emotionally scarred from the bombing.
The Brownsville defense attorney said in open court that his client was not a flight risk and would not escape to Mexico.
"They don't want anything to do with Mexico or the people over there," Cisernos told the judge.
No suspects have been arrested or publicly identified in the package bombing.
Federal prosecutors objected to giving Juarez a bond based on the nature and circumstances of the case.
Prosecutors also had concerns as to whether or not having Juarez out on bond would present a "danger to the community."
Judge Morgan sided with prosecutors and denied the bond for Juarez due to the quantity of drugs involved in the case.
The magistrate judge ordered Juarez be continued to be held without bond but would reconsider if defense attorney raise new issues.
Family members declined comment but were seen visibly disappointed with some of them with tears in their eyes while leaving the courtroom.
Kowalksi and Cisneros told Action 4 News that they would work on getting family members access to Juarez in jail.
The two defense attorneys said they would work on getting another bond hearing but declined further comment.