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Tag: Jury

Jury Acquits FBI Agent Accused of Firing Gun During Oregon Standoff

FBI photo of the shooting of Robert “LaVoy” Finicum during the 2016 armed standoff.

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

A federal jury has acquitted an FBI agent accused of lying to investigators about whether he fired his gun twice at a militia elder involved in the armed takeover of an Oregon wildlife refuge.

The jury on Friday found Agent Joseph Astarita not guilty of obstruction and making false statements.

The 41-year-old agent repeatedly denied he fired his weapon at Robert “LaVoy” Finicum because he was worried about crossfire.

Astarita’s attorney, David Angeli, told CNN that prosecutors lacked eyewitness and ballistic evidence that would show the agent fired his service weapon in during the 2016 standoff. 

“We are grateful to the men and women of the jury who saw through a case that never should have been brought,” Angeli and another defense attorney Rob Cary said in a statement.

At the time of the alleged shooting, the FBI was told to hold fire while local and state law enforcement handled Finicum, who led police on a chase in his pickup and was then shot by state police after he appeared to reach for his gun.

The jury was focused on who fired two errant shots, not who killed Finicum because the deadly force was deemed justified.

Astarita’s lawyers argued that alleged evidence against the agent was the result of lies from the “reckless” actions of one Oregon State Police trooper who fired most of the shots and later changed his story.

Pennsylvania Cop Convicted of Stealing Money from FBI Sting Operation

courtroomBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A Pennsylvania cop who stole money from a drug dealer and an FBI sting operation was convicted of theft and other charges Thursday.

After less than three hours of deliberation, the jury came back with a guilty verdict on charges of theft, record tampering and lying to federal investigators, PennLive reports.  

Fairview Township Police Officer Tyson Baker, 43, faces up prison time when he’s sentenced at a later date.

Baker was arrested after prosecutors said he stole $2,000 from a drug dealer in November 2015 and $3,000 from an FBI sting operation a month later.

Ex-FBI Agent, Daughter Convicted of Killing Daughter’s Husband

Thomas Martens and his daughter Jason Corbett.

Thomas Martens and his daughter Jason Corbett.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A former FBI agent and his daughter were found guilty by a jury Wednesday of murdering the daughter’s husband by crushing his skull with a baseball bat and brick at his house in Lexington, N.C.

Thomas Martens, who spent 31 years as an FBI agent, and his 33-year-old daughter, Molly Corbett, were sentenced to 20-25 years in prison on charges of second-degree murder in the death of Jason Corbett, the Washington Post reports

Martens admitted he attacked Corbett in August 2015, but he maintained he did so to save his daughter’s life after walking into the home to find the husband choking Molly Corbett.

But that story unraveled, and the jury didn’t buy it.

West Texas Man Found Guilty of Trying to Kill Border Patrol Agent

border patrolBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A West Texas man faces up to 20 years in prion after a jury found him guilty of trying to kill a Border Patrol agent.

Carl Wayne Wiley, of Midland, was found guilty of one count of attempting to kill a Border Patrol agent, one count of assaulting, resisting, opposing, impeding, or interfering with Border Patrol agents using a deadly or dangerous weapon, and two counts of using and discharging a firearm.

Wiley fired a gun at a Border Patrol agent after a high-speed pursuit.

Wiley faces a mandatory 10-year prison sentence.

Two Men Found Guilty of Murder in Killing of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry

Brian Terry

Brian Terry

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A jury found two men guilty of murder Thursday in the killing of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry near the Mexican border in 2010, the Arizona Republic reports.

The men, Ivan Soto-Barraza and Jesus Leonel Sanchez-Meza, belonged to a “rip crew” that was searching for drug smugglers to rob when they became engaged in a shootout with Terry and three other agents.

They were convicted of first-degree murder and other charges.

Terry was shot in the back and bled to death.

The shooting brought attention to the flawed federal gun-running sting, “Fast and Furious,” after some of the weapons at the scene were traced to the operation.

Deliberations Begin in Trial of 2 Charged in Killing Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry

Brian Terry

Brian Terry

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A jury began deliberations in the trial of two men accused of killing a Border Patrol agent during a shootout in the Arizona desert in 2010, The Star Tribune reports. 

The case wrapped up Wednesday in a federal court in Tucson.

Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry encountered the robbers of drug dealers and was killed in a shootout.

Prosecutors charged Jesus Leonel Sanchez-Meza, also known as Lionel Portillo-Meza, and Ivan Soto-Barraza in the killing.

Prosecutor Todd Wallace Robinson told jurors that evidence, which includes DNA, fingerprints and confessions, proves the defendants are guilty of all nine counts, which includes first-degree murder.

“It doesn’t prove beyond a reasonable doubt. It proves it beyond any doubt whatsoever,” Robinson said in a closing statement.

Bentley-Driving Preacher Convicted of Using Day Care Grants to Fuel Lavish Lifestyle

courtroomBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A federal jury on Wednesday convicted a Bentley-driving preacher on 13 counts of wire fraud, mail fraud and lying to the FBI, the Chicago Tribune reports.

Herman Jackson, who once warned a federal judge about the “wrath of God,” was taken into immediate custody because of his previous behavior while out on bond.

The jury also convicted his wife, Janetta Faria, of all five fraud counts against her.

As the leader of the Ark of Safety Apostolic Faith Temple, Jackson, 39, submitted false documents to obtain state Child Care Assistance Program subsidy payments for three Chicago-area child care centers.

Jackson used the money to subsidize his lavish lifestyle.

Man Convinces Jury He Was Drunk, Not Intent on Assaulting Border Patrol Agent

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

Shawn Miguel acknowledged he hit a parked Border Patrol truck with his mom’s pickup truck, narrowly missing an agent.

But the 36-year-old’s attorney was able to convince a jury that his client struck the Border Patrol truck because he was drunk, not because he was trying to assault an agent, the Arizona Republic reports. 

Miguel was facing 20 years in prison for assault.

After Miguel struck the agent’s truck, the agent fired his weapon at Miguel, striking him in the face and injuring a passenger.

Miguel and his passenger have filed a civil suit.

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