Murder, human smuggling charges for teen in Palmview wreck
Mon, 16 Apr 2012 16:24:01 GMT —
Authorities have charged a 15-year-old boy with murder and human smuggling following a deadly wreck that left nine illegal immigrants dead in Palmview.
The boy, is not being identified because he is a juvenile, appeared at a hearing in Hidalgo County's Juvenile Justice Court on Monday morning.
Investigators are charging the teen with with nine counts of murder, 17 counts of state human smuggling charges and one count of evading arrest.
Palmview Police Chief Chris Barrera told reporters that the teen is an American U.S. citizen from Hidalgo County.
Chief Barrera told reporters that the teen attends classes at La Joya ISD and that his family lives near 7 Mile Line and Abram Road.
In his initial statement the 15 yr old said he was threatened into driving the car, but Chief Barrera said the a statement from the teen's brother contradicted that information.
Chief Barrera said that the teen's brother turned him in after the teen made a confession about what happened.
Neither the brother nor other members of the teen's family wanted to speak to reporters after the hearing.
The boy is expected to appear back in juvenile court on May 3rd for psycological evalution.
Authorities will later decide if the teen can stand trial as an adult.
Under Texas state law, prosecutors cannot seek the denalty against the boy.
Six others are facing federal charges for their role in the smuggling operation but the teen cannot be tried in federal court due to his age.