Federal judge dismisses lawsuit against agent who shot, killed boy in 2010

By Adriana M. Chavez / El Paso Times
Posted: 02/17/2012 11:58:44 AM MST

A federal judge has dismissed a second civil suit filed by the parents of a 15-year-old boy shot and killed by a Border Patrol agent in 2010.

Court documents show Senior U.S. District Judge David Briones granted a request filed by the agent to dismiss the lawsuit against the agent, Jesus Mesa Jr. The suit alleged the agent violated the civil rights of Sergio Adrián Hernández Güereca.

On June 7, 2010, Mesa was patrolling on a bicycle when he came upon a group of boys, which included Güereca. The group was running up a concrete drainage ditch and touching a chain-link fence on the U.S. side.

Mesa took one of them into custody and pulled out his firearm and shot Güereca twice when he was pelted with rocks.

The incident became well known internationally after it was recorded on a cellphone and shown on television.

After the shooting, the boy’s family said Güereca was a good student who stayed out of trouble. But U.S. officials said Güereca had a history of illegally crossing into the country.

Sergio Adrian Hernandez Guereca

Güereca’s parents initially filed a civil lawsuit against Mesa and the U.S. government last year, but Briones dismissed that suit, ruling there are no statutes that would apply in suing the U.S. government since Güereca was shot on the Mexican side of the border.

The second lawsuit was filed immediately after Briones dismissed the first suit. In the second suit, Güereca’s parents alleged Mesa violated the boy’s constitutional protections against deadly and excessive force.

However, Briones ruled Güereca isn’t covered by those protections because he was a Mexican citizen and was in Mexico when the shooting took place.

Güereca’s parents, Maria Guadalupe Güereca Betancourt and Jesus Hernández, hired Bob Hilliard from Hilliard Muñoz Gonzales LLP and Cristóbal Galindo of the Galindo Law Firm as their attorneys.

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