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Murder conviction in killing of BP Agent Brian Terry

Closing arguments in trial of man charged with killing Brian Terry
Posted at 12:54 PM, Feb 12, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-13 07:52:48-05

TUCSON, Ariz. — After only a short deliberation jurors convicted Heraclio Osorio-Arellanes on all counts in the death of Border Patrol Agent Brian terry---according to Terry's sister Kelly Terry-Willis.

Brian Terry, according to release from the Department of Justice, Heraclio Osorio-Arellanes has been convicted of 9 counts and will be sentenced on April 29, 2019.

The counts are: first-degree murder, second degree murder, conspiracy to effect interstate commerce by robbery, attempted robbery, assault on four Border Patrol Agents and carrying a firearm during a crime of violence.

“Willie, I’m hit!” Those were Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry’s call to a fellow agent as an elite team of Border Patrol Agents exchanged fire with a rip crew. Asked where he was hit, Terry said, “I don’t know.” A bullet from an AK-47 hit near Terry’s spine. Fellow agents struggled to save him but could not.

Heraclio Osorio-Arellanes is a member of the group of bandits. He’s now on trial in Terry’s death.

Osorio’s attorney has not disputed whether his client was in the desert the night of the shootout that killed Agent Terry but defense attorney Francisco Leon urged the jury to convict Osirio on the less serious charge of voluntary manslaughter, rather than first or second degree murder.

Leon says when the agents called out “Policia” out of the darkness, Osirio’s group had no way to be sure they really were facing law enforcement and that they fired out of fear consistent with a voluntary manslaughter conviction.

Osorio and four other men were part of a rip crew—-bandits who wait in remote areas to steal drug loads from smugglers. The intent to steal is a key to the most severe charges in the case.

Prosecutor David Leshner told the jury even though drug smuggling is illegal it’s still regarded as interstate commerce under the law, so attempting to rob smugglers qualifies as interfering with interstate commerce.

A killing associated with another crime allows prosecutors to press a first degreee murder charge.

Prosecutor Leshner said the rip crew would have known they might encounter Border Patrol and cited an incident two days before Terry’s killing when the group ran from some agents.

But two days later they had acquired more supplies and five assault rifles.

It hasn’t been mentioned in the case but guns from the rip crew were traced to Operation Fast and Furious, an attempt by the US Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco Firearms and Explosives to trace guns to the drug cartels by allowing illegal gun sales and attempting to follow the guns to the cartels. ATF lost track of thousands of guns including weapons found at the scene of the firefight that killed Brian Terry.