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'No More Deaths' border activist faces 2nd trial

Posted at 8:34 AM, Nov 12, 2019
and last updated 2019-11-12 21:41:16-05

Was it humanitarian aid or a crime? That’s the issue as a new trial begins for Scott Warren. He’s a border activist on trial for two counts of harboring illegal immigrants.

This is the government's second attempt to convict Warren. Jurors could not agree on a verdict last summer, so picking this jury had an extra importance.

Jurors from that trial told the media they were deadlocked with eight votes for not guilty, four votes for guilty.

Choosing the new jury, lawyers paid a lot of attention to prospective jurors' attitudes towards immigration and law enforcement.

Warren was working with the group "No More Deaths." In January 2018, he let two Central American men stay in a building near Ajo that activists call "the Barn."

The defense says that was humanitarian aid, and not against the law. Federal prosecutors say it was an illegal assist to illegal immigration.

Prosecutors convinced Judge Raner Collins to forbid any mention of President Trump and his immigration policies in this second trial. They say the president evokes such strong opinions that it could prejudice the case.

Warren’s defense said Trump is a key part of what they see as a political prosecution, but the Judge did rule to forbid any mention of the President.