The sheriff in Willacy County, Texas, refused access to media personnel and the family of a murdered border patrol agent at the suspects’ arraignment, according to The Monitor.
The arraignment, held inside the jail where the suspects are currently in custody, was completely off limits “for security reasons.” Sheriff Larry Spence told The Monitor he received anonymous calls for details about the arraignment — like time and date — and feared a jailbreak.
Gustavo Tijernia, 30, and Ismael Hernandez, 40, were arrested Monday when they confessed to killing off-duty U.S. Border Patrol agent Javier Vega Jr., 36. Vega died of a gunshot wound to the chest, and his father Javier Vega Sr. was hospitalized for a gunshot wound to the hip. Tijernia and Hernandez, who are both Mexican nationals and illegal immigrants, face charges of capital murder, attempted capital murder, aggravated robbery and tampering with evidence.
It’s concerning enough that Mexican nationals have shot and killed an off-duty Border Patrol agent, but it’s doubly concerning that the media and Vega’s family were denied access to the arraignment.
The Valley Morning Star reported the suspects are being held without bond.