LexisNexis® Legal Newsroom
Details Emerge, Questions Remain in Texas 'Rain of Death' Investigation

"Texas law enforcement agents were close enough to a pickup truck to see it was carrying people, not drugs, before one opened fire, killing two Guatemalan immigrants hiding under a cover in the vehicle's bed, a diplomat said Tuesday. Texas Department of Public Safety officials have said the...

Border D.A. Asks for Halt to 'Rain of Death'

"The Hidalgo County district attorney has asked the Texas Department of Public safety to temporarily suspend its practice of using airborne sharpshooters to disable vehicles suspected of criminal activity. Last week, two immigrants suspected of being in the country illegally were killed by a state...

Grand Jury Will Probe Helicopter Shooting of Immigrants in Texas

"The investigation into the shooting of two immigrants in Texas killed by a police helicopter intensified Wednesday after a South Texas prosecutor said would impanel a grand jury to probe the matter. Hidalgo County District Attorney Rene Guerra said after meeting with investigators that the case...

Quote For The Day

“There has got to be a better way of curbing illegal immigration than shooting them dead." - Texas State Senator Eddie Lucio Jr., Nov. 1, 2012 . - Eddie Lucio, Jr.

FBI to Review Texas 'Rain of Death' Shooting; DPS Chase Stats Appalling

"The Texas DPS chief on Friday asked federal agents to review the deaths of two Guatemalan immigrants, killed last week when a state trooper opened fire on a smuggling vehicle near La Joya. The Texas Rangers will hand over their investigation to federal agents upon completion, according to Texas...

Texas Helicopter Shooting Deaths: Excessive Use of Force

"Was it right for a Texas Department of Public Safety employee to shoot at a pick-up truck [from a helicopter,] resulting in the deaths of two undocumented immigrants? Was it a reasonable use of police force? Under the doctrine of proportionality, law enforcement officers are required to use only...

Texas Jettisons 'Rain of Death' Helicopter Policy

"Four months after a helicopter-borne Texas Department of Public Safety trooper mistakenly shot and killed two immigrants in the back of a fleeing pickup near the Mexican border, the agency has banned shooting from helicopters in similar scenarios. DPS Director Steve McCraw told members of the...

Border Patrol account of deadly Nogales shooting is disputed

"A Nogales teenager was simply walking down the street and not throwing rocks at U.S. Border Patrol agents the night he was shot and killed, a new witness says, contradicting the agency's initial statement." - Perla Trevizo, Arizona Daily Star, Mar. 30, 2013 .

No Indictments in Texas 'Rain of Death' Helicopter Shooting

"A grand jury has declined to indict a Texas trooper who fired from a helicopter at a fleeing pickup near the Mexican border last year, killing two Guatemalan immigrants and sparking controversy. The killings led the Texas Department of Public Safety to bar troopers from shooting at suspects from...

Border Patrol Agent Called for Non-Lethal Weapon Before Fatal Shooting

"The Border Patrol agent who shot and killed 17-year-old Ramses Barron Torres in 2011 made a last-minute call for non-lethal weapons prior to shooting through the border fence into Mexico, according to a new account of the shooting. The 10-page final report on the shooting from the Department of...

Lawsuits Challenge Border Patrol Shootings, Secrecy

"Bob Hilliard didn't become an attorney to take on civil rights cases. He's a big-time personal injury trial lawyer in Corpus Christi who sues companies like GM and Coca-Cola. His nickname is "The Bulldog." Today, Hilliard represents families in three Border Patrol shootings where...

CA5 on Bivens, 5th Amendment: Hernandez v. Mesa (Cross-Border Killing by Border Patrol)

"We therefore hold that a noncitizen injured outside the United States as a result of arbitrary official conduct by a law enforcement officer located in the United States may invoke the protections provided by the Fifth Amendment. ... we extend a Bivens action in this specific context in which an...

Mother of Slain Mexican Teen Sues Border Patrol, Seeks Trial in Shooting Death of Her Son

"Araceli Rodriguez, the mother of slain Mexican teen Jose Antonio Elena Rodriguez, filed a federal lawsuit today in Arizona to pursue justice for her son, who was killed nearly two years ago by U.S. Border Patrol agents, identified only as John Does in the lawsuit. She is demanding a jury hear evidence...

North Carolina: Evidence Establishes Taxi Driver Was Independent Contractor, Not Employee

A North Carolina appellate court affirmed a decision by the state’s Industrial Commission that found a taxi driver was an independent contractor and not an employee and, accordingly, could not recover workers’ compensation benefits following an incident in which the driver was shot in the...

The Top 10 Bizarre Workers’ Compensation Cases for 2014

Thomas A. Robinson, J.D., the Feature National Columnist for the LexisNexis Workers’ Compensation eNewsletter , is a leading commentator and expert on the law of workers’ compensation. For the past five or six years, I’ve shared with readers my annual list of bizarre workers’...

Death on Sevenmile Road - Melissa del Bosque

"Mike Avila, the shooter, wasn’t a soldier, or a federal agent with Border Patrol; he was a state police officer with the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS). On Oct. 25, 2012, in the outskirts of the border town of La Joya, local and state police responded within minutes to the shooting...

On the Texas - Mexico Border, Death Rains From the Sky

"It was in October of 2012 that a Texas Department of Public Safety helicopter joined in a hot pursuit in the Rio Grande Valley. Officers suspected that pick-up truck they were chasing was loaded with bales of marijuana. To bring an end the chase a sniper in the helicopter fired 15 times at the...

Fifth Circuit: Border Agent Has Immunity For Shooting Death of Mexican Teen

"The full Fifth Circuit on Friday ruled that the U.S. Border Patrol agent who shot and killed a Mexican teenager standing in Mexico from across the U.S. border in Texas had qualified immunity and could not be sued by the teen’s family under the Fourth or Fifth amendments. The court partially...

shooting range

Williams Mullen Files Brief with NC Supreme Court to Protect Rights of Shooting Range Owners

By Camden R. Webb On June 1, 2015, the North Carolina Supreme Court accepted an amicus brief, [ enhanced version available to lexis.com subscribers ], from the Second Amendment Foundation, authored by Camden R. Webb in a case that challenges the ability of a county ordinance to completely prohibit...

Border Patrol Agent Indicted for Cross-Border Shooting Death of Mexican Teen

Tucson Sentinel, Sept. 24, 2015 - "Nearly three years after a 2012 shooting in Nogales, the U.S. Border Patrol agent who fired through the border fence and killed 16-year old Jose Antonio Elena Rodriguez was indicted Wednesday by a federal grand jury . Agent Lonnie Swartz will be charged with...

This One I Don’t Get: “Physical Abuse” Exclusion Applies To A Shooting

Just because I represent insurers doesn’t mean that I agree with every decision that an insurer wins. And just because an insurer takes a position in a case doesn’t mean that it’s one that I would have recommended to a client. If I were that narrow-minded, or acted that reflexively...

Landlord Not Liable For Shooting Death At Rental Property

Landlord Sued for Wrongful Death After Assailant Shoots Four Guests At House Party, Killing One A landlord’s worst nightmare is someone getting hurt, or worse, shot and killed on their rental property, and then getting sued for wrongful death. This was the situation facing a property owner in...

Very Interesting “Expected Or Intended” Case

It is a safe bet that if a person fires a gun, and then seeks coverage for any resulting injuries, coverage issues, especially “expected or intended,” will ensue. It is also a safe bet that the person seeking coverage will come up empty. When it comes to wayward guns, it can be a challenge...

Supreme Court Grants Cert. in Hernández v. Mesa

15-118 HERNANDEZ V. MESA DECISION BELOW: 785 F.3d 117 LOWER COURT CASE NUMBER: 12-50217 QUESTION PRESENTED: In Boumediene v. Bush, this Court held that the Constitution's extraterritorial application "turn[s] on objective factors and practical concerns," not a "formal sovereignty...