Patterico's Pontifications

3/16/2007

DRJ Pores Through the Border Patrol Trial Transcripts – Direct Examination of Ignacio Ramos (Volume XII):

Filed under: Crime,General,Immigration — DRJ @ 9:46 pm

Ignacio Ramos tells his side of the story …

From Transcript Volume XII:

Defense Witness #1 – Ignacio Ramos:

Ramos direct examination (by Mary Stillinger):

151 – Ramos identified himself for the record. His full name is Ignacio Ramos, Jr.

151-152 – Ramos has a neurological disorder called Tourette’s Syndrome. It causes Ramos to have motion tics where his body moves involuntarily, such as head, hand or shoulder movements.

[NOTE from DRJ: The transcript incorrectly refers to the “ticks” of Tourette’s. The correct term is “tics” and I will use that term here even though the transcript does not.]

152 – Because of his Tourette’s, Ramos also has verbal tics: “I guess you would call them grunting noises. Sometimes it’s delay of answering or, for lack of a better word, I’ll — I can’t say — I kind of like go like that (indicating). I can’t explain it any other way. I just — or I hold it — I hold it in and then answer. It’s just like a — it’s hard to describe.”

152 – Ramos takes medication for his Tourette’s but it doesn’t completely control his symptoms. His symptoms improve or go away when he is under stress because he has something to concentrate and focus on. The symptoms come out when he doesn’t have anything to focus on.

152-153 – Tourette’s tics are not nervous tics. They just come out by themselves.

153 – Tourette’s Syndrome does not affect Ramos’ performance as a BP agent.

153 – Ramos lives with his wife and 3 sons (ages 6, 8, and 13) in Horizon City. Because of this case, Ramos is currently suspended without pay from his job as a BP agent. He works for PPG Glass in a warehouse.

153-154 – Ramos grew up in El Paso and graduated from J. M. Hanks High School. He attended UTEP for a couple of semesters and then joined the Navy to help pay for college.

154-155 – When he was in the Navy, Ramos was stationed in San Diego for 2 months for boot camp, and then at Fort Wanini for school [apparently for 4 months, because later Ramos said his total Navy training took 6 months]. After training, Ramos came back to El Paso and served in the Naval Reserves.

154-155 – Ramos started attending UTEP again when he first returned to El Paso. He worked at Homebase and then McCoys. He moved to San Diego for about 5 months to go to school but it was too expensive and he moved back. Then he worked for his Dad and for a couple of hardware places. He joined the BP in March 1995.

155 – Ramos was in the Naval Reserves for 8 years. During that time he trained on weekends and for 2 weeks every year.

155 – Ramos has not finished college. He has about 38 hours of college credit.

155-156 – Ramos applied for the BP because he had seen them growing up when his family drove on the Border Highway and he liked what they did. Ramos liked that it was law enforcement and working outdoors, so it had all the aspects of a job he liked.

156 – After joining the BP, Ramos went to the BP academy at Glenco GA for 6 months of training. He was trained in immigration law, naturalization law, Spanish, firearms training, driver’s training, physical training, defensive tactics, and other subjects.

156-157 – Firearms training touches on how to deal with a dangerous situation but most of that is taught in instructor training and not at the academy.

157 – They teach the use of force policy at the BP academy and Ramos is familiar with that policy.

157-158 – In 1995, Ramos was stationed at Fabens after he completed his 6-months training at the BP academy. Ramos has always been stationed at Fabens except: He was detailed to California for 30 days; He was assigned to Glenco as a Spanish instructor for 10 months; and in 1990-1991 [sic – corrected to 2000-2001] Ramos was a physical training instructor at the BP academy in South Carolina.

159 – On February 17, 2005, Ramos was eating lunch in the [Fabens] BP station when he heard a “callout about activity at area 76.” Prior to that callout, there had been “a lot of radio traffic about many sensor hits in that area.”

159-160 – “A sensor hit is what sector radio is calling out, that a sensor is being activated. So as many times as a sensor is being activated, they call us, and they tell us – they don’t say, Hey, Fabens, this sensor is being activated. They just say the sensor 76, port 1, 10 times. And that’s how we know that sensor has been going off 10 times. *** To us that means, you know, there’s activity on that for quite a while. Because each sensor is set to go off every two or three seconds, depending on how it’s put into the ground.”

160 – The sensors are seismic and based on vibrations. “Somebody has to be stepping around the sensor, or in that general area, for quite some time before it will go off.” If it’s set to go off every two or three seconds, that’s one hit. If it goes off another two or three seconds, that’s another hit. If it goes off 10 times, that’s approximately 30 seconds of activity on that sensor.

160-161 – When they talk about area 76, they mean the area around sensor 76. Ramos can’t say where the sensor is because the BP keeps it secret. In general, though, sensor 76 is on the north side of the Sierra Delta ditch and is within 5 feet of the ditch.

161-162 – Ramos’ 10 years of experience in Fabens tells him that if sensor 76 is going off over and over again, it means there is a lot of activity in that area. This could be due to the farm equipment or workers in the area, but it probably wasn’t because the BP agents would have seen farm activity earlier in the day and “inhibited the sensor” so it would not be a nuisance.

162-163 – “Inhibiting the sensor” means asking the people who control the sensors not to call it out. The process to inhibit the sensor is to call sector “ — and I don’t mean radio, because there’s a difference between sector radio and whoever is calling out the sensor. A lot of times it’s the same person, but there’s a designation to them. 880 is wherever we would call a plate in to. 896 is who we would call a sensor to. And we would tell them to inhibit that sensor for at least a couple hours, so that we don’t have to hear about that sensor all day long, or for at least those two hours, because that tractor is going to be there.”

163 – BP agents have a good idea where farm activity is in their area.

163-164 – After Ramos heard the sensor call out, then he heard Compean call out a 46 – narcotic smuggling. Ramos had worked with Compean in Fabens for almost 5 years and recognized his voice. At that point, Ramos got up to leave the station because Compean had called out a 46 and Ramos wanted to go catch it.

164-165 – [Ramos identified a map showing the Fabens’ light, which was about a mile from the Fabens’ BP station where he ate lunch. This exhibit was later identified as RAMOS EXH __.]

166 – By the time Ramos left the station and got in his vehicle, no BP agent reported the van going west. The only directions a vehicle can travel from where the van was first seen would be west or north into the town of Fabens, so Ramos drove toward Fabens. [Ramos identified the intersection with the light on RAMOS EXH 9, a map of the town of Fabens and its streets.]

166-167 – By the time Ramos arrived in town, Juarez had spotted the van heading toward Fabens.

167 – Ramos listened to the sector tape and read the transcript. There were more radio transmissions on February 17 than what was in the transcript.

167-168 – After arriving in town, Ramos first went to the location on the south side of town marked “1” on the map (RAMOS EXH 9). Ramos was driving a pickup truck with a drop-in unit. He was by himself. Ramos parked his truck facing south in an open triangle area. In a matter of seconds, the van and Juarez passed Ramos. Juarez had his emergency lights on.

169 – At that time, Ramos wasn’t sure the van was the same one Compean had called out but he knew that Juarez was going to check it out because Juarez had his lights on.

169 – Ramos waited in place to see if the van would stop in response to Juarez’s emergency lights.

169 – As the van passed, Ramos saw the driver and he knew the driver saw him “Because he looks at me, and he gives me a — a look of shock, or a look of fear. Because he looks over at me and he goes (indicating) — he goes like that (indicating), right afterwards.”

[NOTE from DRJ: No explanation was given regarding what was meant by “(indicating)” in the transcript.]

169-171 – As soon as the van and Juarez passed Ramos, Ramos made a U-turn and got behind them. The van turned left at the light and turned left again at the next intersection. Ramos knew that the only place to go from there was to return back south, so he made a U-turn and waited for them. [Ramos identified the locations on RAMOS EXH 9 and put a “2” at the location where he made the U-turn.]

171-173 – Ramos was able to make a U-turn because the traffic had stopped for Juarez’s emergency lights. In addition, Ramos had his emergency lights on because they were in the middle of Fabens and he needed to stop traffic. The traffic watched as Ramos made a U-turn and then Ramos waited [at a point marked “3” on RAMOS EXH 9] for the van and Juarez to come around. Ramos knew he was at the only exit point from the street where the van and Juarez had gone.

173 – Ramos did not cut Juarez off. The van came out of the street without stopping, but Juarez stopped at the intersection and looked at Ramos. Ramos continued on behind the van and was in front of Juarez. Both Ramos and Juarez still had their emergency lights on.

173-174 – From that point, the van continued south on Fabens Road. Ramos was the closest vehicle to the van.

174 – Ramos never signaled to Juarez to turn off his emergency lights. Instead, he was calling out to everyone that the van was headed south and “communicating to everybody where we were going to go from there.” He was driving with his left hand and holding the radio with his right. He couldn’t have done these things and tapped the window/roof, too.

174-175 – Ramos left his emergency lights on as he followed the van south on Fabens because “there was still the possibility of traffic coming up from the port of entry from our east end. So if there was any traffic that was going to come up, I wanted them to at least clear off to the side of the road, if any. There was no traffic.”

175-176 – Ramos does not know how fast Juarez and the van were going northbound. As they drove south, they passed a canal, some houses off to the side, pecan groves, and open fields. There was no other traffic that day. At the lower end [apparently by the pecan groves and open fields], Ramos’ speed was about 60 mph. [The Court admitted RAMOS EXH 9 without objection.]

176 – Ramos did not request permission to initiate a pursuit of this vehicle because he has never done so in the past. There was nothing unusual about this incident and, Ramos doesn’t believe this was a pursuit under the Border Patrol’s pursuit policy. In his 10 years in the BP, Ramos has engaged in many similar followings of vehicles – more than one a year – and the only thing different about this incident was that the BP agents got the van driver to go back south a little later.

176 – [Ramos’ counsel stated she would call chases like this incident a pursuit because it’s more convenient.]

176-177 – In cases like this – where the driver had turned back south – everyone knew the driver wasn’t going into town and was just trying to get away from the BP, so the policy was to follow the driver back to the border. From there, “it became a cat and mouse game, and we just tried to get him from there. I mean, that’s — that’s the way we did business there.”

178-179 – Ramos said there wasn’t anything unusual about this pursuit. He’s been involved in other pursuits – “if you want to call them that” – where other agents have done the same thing. Ramos has knowledge that his supervisors knew about these incidents “because they have been involved.”

179 – Ramos has written up a report where he described something like this and it went to the patrol agent in charge.

179 – It’s not wrong to follow a vehicle after it’s failed to yield because “you can’t just let it get away.”

179-180 – Ramos thought he was very familiar with the BP pursuit policy.

180 – As they drove south, Ramos was following the van and Juarez was behind Ramos. Ramos was keeping up with the van, but not gaining on him and not losing ground.

180-181 – [Ramos identified the S curve on a map identified as RAMOS EXH 7.] The S curve looks more like right angles than an S. Ramos was not going 60 mph through the S curve, nor was the van, because you can’t – especially in the trucks the BP uses. The van was not driving recklessly – it was not swerving or going off the road. Ramos did not drive recklessly. He slowed down, stayed in his lane and followed the van.

181-182 – Ramos was about 3 car lengths behind the van. He estimated his speed at 60 mph but he did not look at his speedometer. He believes the speed limit on this road is 50 mph. Ramos had his emergency lights on the entire trip south.

182-183 – When the van moves onto the dirt road, he kicked up a big cloud of dust and Ramos had to slow down because he couldn’t see. In addition, irrigation canals are cut through the road and there are bridges built over them. “So if you don’t slow down for them, or if you don’t know that they’re there, if you don’t see them, if you’re travelling [sic] at a high rate of speed, you’re going to catch air. You’re going to — you can fly over them.” Ramos slowed down because he knew the canal bridges were there.

183 – Ramos has been down the dirt road many times and he knows he can’t go any faster than 30 mph on that road, especially when he can’t see because of the dust cloud. Ramos is not sure how close he was to the van because he could barely see him.

183 – There was nothing remarkable about the chase at the end of Jess Harris Road: “We just went down, like many others have. I mean, he’s going south and we’re going south along with him.”

183-184 – As they near the end of the road, Ramos started to brake sooner because the ABS brakes in the BP vehicles don’t work well on dirt and washboard roads. Ramos also brakes early because he wants to be out of his vehicle before the van driver.

184 – [Ramos identified the 76 sensor on the map – about 3 miles away from where this incident occurred.]

184-185 – As he exited his vehicle, Ramos saw the suspect jump out of the van. Ramos parked about 2-3 car lengths behind the van. The suspect jumped straight into the canal and Ramos ran toward the canal.

185-186 – The Sierra Delta ditch is a deep ditch or canal that has dark green, murky water and shrubbery in it. The shrubs are hard mesquite, straight reeds, and a lot of brush. The growth is dense in some areas and in other areas you can see where illegal immigrants have cut trails through it. [The Court sustained the prosecutor’s objection to how the trails were cut.] The BP frequently catches illegal immigrants crossing in this area.

186 – The bottom of the ditch is water and mud that you sink into. The water is green and it smells nasty when you stir it up. On this day [February 17], the water was a little over Ramos’ knees.

187-188 – Ramos saw the suspect go into the ditch. Ramos ran up to the edge of the ditch and stopped there. By that time, the suspect was just going into the water. Ramos did not see anyone else there except Compean, who was waiting on foot on the south side of the ditch when Ramos arrived. Compean’s truck was on the levee. Compean had a shotgun in his hands.

188 – After he stopped at the edge of the ditch, Ramos yelled at the suspect to Parate [Stop]. Compean was also yelling Parate. Neither Ramos nor Compean yelled anything other than Parate. The suspect did not yell anything back. “He just kept going.”

188-189 – Ramos could hear other trucks arriving but he never looked back. He kept his eyes on the suspect. The suspect turned and looked once at Ramos, but Ramos thought that the suspect didn’t care about him since Ramos didn’t immediately chase him.

189 – Ramos had drawn his weapon, a Beretta, because he was sure it was narcotic smuggling and “for my safety and the safety of Agent Compean and the others that were getting there.” Ramos didn’t see what Compean was doing because he was focused on the suspect.

189-190 – Ramos kept yelling at the suspect to stop but he wasn’t listening to Ramos or Compean because he just kept going up the south side of the ditch. The suspect got within 2 feet of Compean. By that time, there was “plenty of yelling” behind Ramos and he knew other agents were there. Ramos wasn’t sure what they were yelling because he was “drowning out everything” except what was in front of him. He wasn’t sure who was yelling because he never turned around to see.

191 – As the suspect got to Compean, he turned and looked at everyone and Ramos guessed he realized he was outnumbered a lot. When the suspect looked at Ramos, Ramos thought he had a look like “it was now or never.” The suspect made a move on Compean – he tried to get around him – and that’s when Ramos holstered his gun and jumped in the ditch.

191-192 – Ramos and Compean are friends as co-workers but they have never socialized together outside work.

192-193 – Ramos holstered his weapon because he didn’t want to go through the ditch with a gun in his hand. It would be unsafe because the ditch is so steep. Ramos needed both hands to go down into the ditch and to get out of the ditch without falling into the water or the brush. Ramos has fallen in the water before.

193 – Ramos decided to cross the ditch because he knew the suspect would be a problem and Compean was by himself:

“A. Well, I — at that time, I knew he was going to be a problem. For suspects like this, he’s so close to freedom, they’re going to do anything they need to to [sic] get away.
Q. Okay. Were you worried about Agent Compean?
A. Most definitely. He’s by himself.”

193-194 – Ramos heard gunshots shortly after he entered the ditch and started going across. He does not know how many shots he heard or whose gun was being fired. Ramos wasn’t sure if Compean, the suspect, or both were shooting.

194-195 – Ramos moved as quickly as he could because he thought he needed to get to Compean and help him. Ramos did not slow down and stay in the ditch for cover. Instead, he climbed out as quickly as he could but it took awhile because the mud in the ditch is soft and murky. You sink, especially in the boots the BP agents wear. Ramos can’t see Compean or the suspect while he’s in the ditch because it’s too deep to see out. Ramos agrees with the Court exhibits that show the ditch is about 11 feet deep. [Ramos verified as accurate the measurements in a diagram identified as GOV EXH 31.]

195-196 – Ramos can’t see Compean or the suspect when he first exits the ditch. He doesn’t see them until he gets to the edge of the levee. He didn’t know where to run, he just ran because he knew he had to go find them. Ramos ran to the back of Compean’s vehicle on the levee, and Ramos saw Compean when he [Ramos] got to the south side of the edge of the levee.

196-197 – [Referring to the diagram identified as GOV EXH 31:] Ramos stated that the van was at the end of Jess Harris Road. Ramos ran to the left of the van and Ramos indicated on the diagram where he crossed the ditch and ran up on the levee. He ran up a slope to Compean’s vehicle on the levee. The slope is like a little grade up to the levee. Ramos is not sure if the dotted yellow line in GOV EXH 31 is where he ran.

197 – Ramos did not see Compean until he got to “this part” of the levee. [Ramos indicated on the diagram where he was but it wasn’t identified in the transcript.]

197-200 – Compean’s vehicle was headed east and Ramos ran behind it. [Ramos identified the location where Compean’s vehicle was in GOV EXH 29, a diagram of the same area as GOV EXH 31 except viewed from the east. Stillinger suggested it would be easier to use GOV EXH 29 to identify where Compean’s vehicle was located. The Court sustained the prosecutor’s objection to this statement as commentary.] Ramos identified on GOV EXH 29 the slope/grade where he ran up on the levee and the location of Compean’s vehicle. He also identified the ditch, levee, vega, and the “drag road.”

199-200 – After Ramos ran behind Compean’s vehicle, he saw Compean on the drag road. It’s called the drag road because, when Ramos first started working in Fabens, the agents would drag this road with tires so they could see when undocumented immigrants crossed into the US: “[W]e’d drag it clean with the tires, and then we would check it — check it periodically. And then you could see the footprints on it. That’s how we would cut for sign.”

200-201 – In response to a question whether the vega is a safe place to be, Ramos stated it isn’t safe because there is nothing to hide behind. There’s not much brush and few trees. You’re so close to the river and the border that you are vulnerable to gunfire from Mexico and from the river. “Plus, along the river, there’s — the brush that goes along it is so thick and dense you couldn’t see anybody hiding there.” [The prosecutor objected to this answer as nonresponsive and a narrative. The Court sustained the objection as to narrative but overruled as to nonresponsive.]

201-202 – In the summer of 1996, Ramos was shot at on the border and he returned fire. Ramos did not make a report to his supervisor that he had discharged his firearm because he had called the shooting in on his radio. He called it in because he was alone and needed help.

202-203 – [The Court sustained the prosecution’s objection to the form of a question regarding the supervisor’s involvement in Ramo’s earlier shooting, but overruled a separate objection based on the remoteness of this shooting incident.]

203-204 – Ramos’ supervisor knew about the shooting in 1996 because Ramos called it over the radio and the supervisor responded to the scene. Ramos was asked to write a memo of what happened and he did. There was no other investigation or proceeding that Ramos was aware of.

204 – Ramos has not been involved in any other shootings in the vega area.

204-205 – [The Court sustained prosecution objections to questions about Ramos’ knowledge of other shootings in the vega and instances where a supervisor knew about a shooting but didn’t report it.]

205 – Ramos has had other experiences that make him think the border is a dangerous place to be, including incidents of violence with people Ramos arrested. He has been assaulted. He doesn’t go to the vega if he doesn’t need to.

205-207 – Ramos heard gunshots while he was in the ditch. He did not hear any more gunshots after he got out of the ditch. Ramos saw Compean “on the floor” – Compean wasn’t standing but Ramos doesn’t remember his exact position except that Compean wasn’t on his back. Ramos thought Compean had been shot or injured. Ramos immediately looked for the suspect and saw him running away from Compean. Ramos ran after him because he wanted to catch him.

207-208 – Ramos took his gun out of his holster again as soon as he cleared the ditch. He yelled Parate as he chased the suspect. Ramos had his gun in his hand but it was not pointed at the suspect because Ramos was running. As soon as Ramos yelled Parate, the suspect turned and went “like this” to Ramos. [Ramos demonstrated what the suspect did. The Court noted that the record should reflect Ramos demonstrated turning around and shooting backwards with his left hand.]

208-209 – On that day, at that time, Ramos was 100% sure that the suspect had a gun in his hand. Looking back on it, Ramos isn’t sure if the suspect had a gun but Ramos thinks he had something in his hand.

209 – When the suspect made the motion of shooting backwards, Ramos picked up his gun and fired one time. Ramos didn’t see any immediate reaction because he was looking through his sites and not directly at the suspect.

210 – It was a matter of seconds from the time Ramos saw Compean run and Ramos shot.

210-211 – Immediately after he shot, Ramos picked up his gun and reassessed his target but he didn’t see the suspect. At the time Ramos shot, the suspect was at the edge of the river. [The Court sustained a prosecution objection – leading – to a question asking if the suspect “went down.”] Ramos would have seen the suspect if he had gone down because the brush in that area is low. Ramos thought the suspect was still a threat because he didn’t know where he was. Ramos held his gun in ready position [demonstrating] as he looked for the suspect.

211-212 – Ramos thought the suspect was in the river because he could not see all the river due to the brush along the bank. Ramos watched for the suspect until he saw him get out of the river on the Mexican side.

212 – Ramos did not know if he had shot the suspect but the suspect was walking at a normal pace. Ramos doesn’t deny that he shot the suspect.

212 – If Ramos had known he shot the suspect, he would have rendered aid and then arrested him if he was on the American side of the river.

212-213 – After the suspect got out of the river on the Mexican side, Compean walked up to Ramos. Ramos thought Compean was scared and in shock [- the Court sustained a prosecution objection to this statement on the basis it was not responsive to the question “What did you do?].

213-214 – When Compean first walked up to Ramos after the shooting, they did not talk. Ramos patted Compean down because he looked like he was in shock and Ramos thought Compean might have been hit. Ramos knows that people in shock don’t always realize they’ve been hurt. [Ramos demonstrated how he patted Compean down.] Ramos checked Compean for bullet holes and visible blood.

214 – Ramos didn’t see any injury to Compean other than his chin was cut. Then they walked back to the levee. They did not discuss anything. Ramos never gave his back completely to the suspect and he kept his body “bladed” so he could keep his eye on the suspect and make sure he wasn’t a threat. Basically he was walking sideways.

214-215 – As he walked back, Ramos saw the suspect walking south. Ramos and Compean got to the US levee about the same time the suspect got to the Mexican levee. Yrigoyen and Mendez arrived at the US levee about the same time Ramos lost sight of the suspect going over the Mexican levee.

215-216 – Ramos did not warn Yrigoyen about a gun because the suspect was no longer a threat. He walked to the Mexican levee without making any more overt gestures or threats. At that distance, he wouldn’t have been accurate – he had no rifle. Ramos thought the suspect had a handgun but he couldn’t tell what kind because of the distance.

216-217 – As soon as the suspect crossed the Mexican levee, Ramos started back across the Sierra Delta ditch to go to his vehicle. FOS Richards and agents Vasquez, Juarez, Mendoza, Jacquez, and Arnold were on the north side of the ditch when he got there. Approximately 8-12 agents work each shift in Fabens, so that was a good part of the workforce that day.

217-218 – Richards asked Ramos if they got the suspect and Ramos said they didn’t. Ramos told Richards the suspect assaulted Agent Compean, and threw dirt in his face. Richards asked if Compean was okay and Ramos said to ask Compean that. Ramos checked Compean out but he felt that wasn’t for him to say if Compean was okay. That was all Ramos and Richards discussed at the scene.

218 – The other agents were “talking about what transpired.” Ramos doesn’t remember who said what but he remembers someone talking about shots being fired.

218 – Ramos doesn’t remember any specifics from conversations he had with anyone else at the scene, except Richards.

218-219 – Ramos unloaded some marijuana from the van, loaded it into his truck and returned to the station to process it. Ramos took some of the marijuana and someone else took another part.

219-220 – Both of the other incidents in which Ramos was assaulted involved undocumented alien smuggling. On one occasion, a smuggler tried to run south but Ramos caught him. The smuggler started fighting when Ramos searched him and, during the fight, Ramos was poked in the left thumb with a syringe the smuggler carried. Ramos filed a CA-1 form after that incident, the form that FOS Richards described in his testimony. The smuggler was prosecuted for the re-entry because he had a deportation, but he was not prosecuted for the assault because he did not pick up the syringe and stab at Ramos.

220-221 – Ramos broke his hand in the other occasion. He filed a CA-1 form and the alien was prosecuted for the assault.

221 – Ramos was assaulted on other occasions that he did not report, because Ramos understands that the FBI and US Attorneys won’t prosecute assaults unless there is a serious injury.

221-222 – Ramos knows that he is required to report a discharge of his firearm. Ramos did not report his discharge or Compean’s discharge on February 17. He did not report it “Because, with all the agents that were arriving, especially with Agent Yrigoyen arriving on the levee, I had heard somebody yelling, Shots, when I was crossing through the canal. I assumed it had been reported by somebody.”

222 – Ramos never saw Vasquez or Juarez cross the ditch to help Ramos and Compean. Ramos didn’t know what they were doing.

222-223 – Ramos did not feel he had to cover up anything he did that day. He was not trying to cover up anything by not reporting a discharge. Ramos did not have any conversations with any agent about whether the incident should be reported, and he did not tell anyone to pick up shells. Ramos did not pick up his shell and [he assumes] it’s still out there. Ramos did not see anyone picking up shells.

223 – It wasn’t Ramos’ place to question the supervisors about whether he should prepare a memo or file a report on the incident.

223-225 – [The Court overruled the prosecution’s objection to this question – Knowing only what you knew that day, would you do anything different? Ramos answered:] He would follow the vehicle again; He would exit his vehicle and run to help Compean; and He would shoot at Aldrete-Davila. Ramos is not glad he shot Aldrete-Davila because he doesn’t want to shoot anybody. Everything Ramos did that day was just doing his job.

Compean examination (by Chris Antcliff):

225-226 – [The prosecution objected to leading questions. The Court ruled that Antcliff could not lead this witness.]

226 – Ramos did not see any [physical] confrontation between the suspect and anyone else.

226-227 – Compean was on the south side of the canal when Ramos entered the ditch. Compean was trying to stop the suspect from going back south by yelling Parate and standing in front of him. Compean is holding a shotgun but Ramos didn’t see Compean do anything with the shotgun. Ramos did not see Compean and Aldrete-Davila make contact with each other at any point.

227-230 – [Bench conference regarding scheduling. Court will resume the following day at Noon.]

[End of transcript Volume XII.]

Government cross-examination (by Debra Kanof): [Reserved for next section.]

65 Responses to “DRJ Pores Through the Border Patrol Trial Transcripts – Direct Examination of Ignacio Ramos (Volume XII):”

  1. I don’t think he cam across as credible to the jury – he certaintly was not bullied nor were racial accusations made by the Prosecutor as World Net Daily and soo many others reported as God Given facts.

    He had his chance the only one believing him was himself

    EricPWJohnson (695c44)

  2. Eric,

    That may be but this summary doesn’t include the prosecution’s cross-examination so I assume your statements are based on your own review of the transcript.

    DRJ (53e939)

  3. Ramos’ situation is similar to those indicted cops in New York over the “groom shooting”.

    When one cop shoots, the assumption by the other officers in the area needs to be that the cop fired his weapon justifiably.

    For the other cops not to shoot, they would have decided that the first cop fired without justification, that there was actually no threat despite that first discharge, and that would be an incredible thing for a cop to assume considering that they don’t all have the same line of sight and they couldn’t possibly be seeing everything that the initial shooter was looking at.

    If it turned out that the first officer did fire justifiably and there was a threat, and you just stood there and didn’t direct your lead onto the threat, you’d be responsible for any death or injury caused by the suspect.

    Just wait and see, the implied motive will be “they wanted to shoot some negroes”. They may even go beyond implying it if they get the right kind of jury.

    J Curtis (d21251)

  4. Eric,

    The racial accusation came in final argument. It was not as inflammatory as reported, if it is the one World Net Daily reported. What Kanof said was the Compean, when he allegedly called OAD a Mexican Mierde was that he was insulting one of his own.

    Jerri Lynn Ward (9f83e6)

  5. Jerri

    What orginally got EVERYONE fired up was this exchange which NEVER EVER Happened

    Kanof “You even betrayed your own people”

    EricPWJohnson (695c44)

  6. DRJ

    I’ve had the transcripts for awhile :)

    First, I didn’t see it, I have unfortunately read most of it…..

    But obviousely the jury didn’t believe him, and the pathetic use of Tourettes syndrom like a Michael Myers character ringing a bell to evoke some doubt in one juror was a cheap shot and as the Judge would have had him throughly tested and questioned. If this was true it was admissable as evidence if it wasn’t the defense team idiot that came up with that lame stunt should have been written up for disbarment

    He can’t talk, he has a nervous disorder yet he is a marksman and can hit someone with a pistol at 150 meters

    And I didn’t bring my hip waders to the Middle East

    EricPWJohnson (695c44)

  7. DRJ

    Just read something about Tourettes given the statement made about the severity of the disease It’s becoming interesting that very very few people have the condition at the medicated level.

    My rough stimate is 5,000 out of 150 million American Males have the same symptons as Ramos.

    http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/tourette/detail_tourette.htm#85173231

    About where OJ and the Bruno Mali size 11’s

    If you are going to claim in a Federal court your client has a rare neurological disorder he better have a case history going back years……

    EricPWJohnson (695c44)

  8. But naturally, Sutton forced them to do this

    EricPWJohnson (695c44)

  9. But naturally, Sutton forced them to do this

    Comment by EricPWJohnson

    Your defense of Sutton started out lame and has deteriorated.

    What do you believe Ramos’ motive was?

    J Curtis (d21251)

  10. J Curtis

    Wasn’t defending Sutton – it was a lame attempt at humor

    Ramos wanted to kill someone thats why you shoot an unarmed man in the back with a very large caliber handgun

    His trying to use an obscure illness that can be missdiagnosed as the proverbial whip-lash-victim-in-the-neck-brace-ploy sympathy excuse proved it to me beyond all doubt.

    His attorneys now to me, know the truth that he did just try to kill the guy.

    So did the jury

    EricPWJohnson (695c44)

  11. Ramos wanted to kill someone thats why you shoot an unarmed man in the back with a very large caliber handgun

    Comment by EricPWJohnson

    Why didn’t Ramos kill him then? According to your type, the dope smuggler was just waiting there after he was shot so wouldn’t that have been an opportune time to whack him?

    J Curtis (d21251)

  12. J Curtiss

    Why did he shoot in the first place? What type am I BTW? I’m curious….

    EricPWJohnson (695c44)

  13. Eric,

    You clearly don’t know anything about Tourette’s if you compare it to whiplash. Although the tics can wax and wane, people with Tourette’s have noticeable behavior differences. I’m sure that’s why the defense chose to address the subject with the jury, and I’m equally sure they would have preferred not raising it. My guess is they had no choice because they had to explain Ramos’ tics.

    DRJ (53e939)

  14. Eric,

    Ramos testified he shot at Aldrete-Davila because he was sure OAD had a gun and aimed it at Ramos:

    “Ramos took his gun out of his holster again as soon as he cleared the ditch. He yelled Parate as he chased the suspect. Ramos had his gun in his hand but it was not pointed at the suspect because Ramos was running. As soon as Ramos yelled Parate, the suspect turned and went “like this” to Ramos. [Ramos demonstrated what the suspect did. The Court noted that the record should reflect Ramos demonstrated turning around and shooting backwards with his left hand.]”

    (Taken from my summary of Ramos’ testimony in Volume XII, pp 207-208.)

    DRJ (53e939)

  15. Ramos shot at OAD because he had heard Compean empty his magazine, reload and fire again.

    He ASSUMED that Compean has seen a threat which led him to fire.

    His assumption was his mistake, and its not a justifiable basis upon which to use deadly force.

    If he had simply come clean at the time of the shooting, and let Compean defend his own actions, I’m pretty sure that he would have been disciplined administratively and not criminally.
    He would have probably lost his job, but he wouldn’t be sitting in prison.

    By keeping quiet he looked like he had something to hide. That’s referred to as “consciousness of guilt”.

    As I’ve said before, Ramos should blame Compean for every day he spends in prison.

    WLS (1b7f25)

  16. DRJ — I’m not sure if your determination to quote Ramos’ explanation of what he claimed he saw is reflects a belief in Ramos’ testimony, or is simply informative to the readers here.

    If the former, my point to you would simply be — what did you expect to find in the transcript? What else could he say? If the said he never saw a weapon, he should have pled guilty and gotten some time off his sentence.

    Since he didn’t plead guilty, he MUST say he saw a weapon, whether he did or not. So, the fact that its in the transcript of his testimony is really a non-issue.

    The question is not so much whether you believe that statement by him, its whether the rest of his story holds water. Like never seeing Compean and OAD “struggle” or whatever you want to call it. Juarez is standing at the top of the levy and sees the who thing — Compean trying to strike OAD with the butt of his shotgun and missing, causing Compean to fall face first down the bank of the levy, and allowing OAD to get past him.

    This all happens while Ramos is in the levy — but he testified that he didn’t see or hear a thing.

    THere are lots of examples like this in his testimony when you look back at the testimony of others. Ramos’ description is singular, uncorroborated, and contradicted by others on many specific details.

    That’s why the jury didn’t believe him — including his statement about seeing a weapon.

    WLS (1b7f25)

  17. WLS,

    That’s interesting. Of course, that’s not what Ramos testified to.

    DRJ (53e939)

  18. WLS,

    My “determination” to provide the testimony is to make sure we don’t make it up as we go along. I have to read Compean’s testimony before I decide what I think.

    However, my efforts have slowed down considerably because – frankly – I’m depressed by this case and it’s hard to make myself work on it. I believe there is a material misstatement in Aldrete-Davila’s testimony that I hoped would be cleared up in later testimony but it hasn’t been. I’m concerned about the limits placed on the defense in questioning and challenging OAD’s story. I’m bothered by the prosecutor’s representation that drug smugglers don’t carry guns.

    Last, I suspect the Border Patrol agents who testified for the prosecution desperately wanted to please the prosecutors in the hope they could keep their jobs in the Border Patrol. Thus, I’m troubled by the fact that the prosecution basically had to badger the agents to keep their stories straight. Reading the agents’ testimony, with the prosecutor’s constant use of leading questions and the repeated need to rehabilitate their testimony, reminded me of herding cats. The prosecution should not have had to herd cats with its own witnesses testifying under proffer letters.

    I accept that none of these things might have changed the outcome of this trial. I also accept the jury’s decision, and I tend to discredit the jurors’ claims that they would have decided differently as typical buyers’ remorse. However, the totality of the circumstances makes me concerned that we only heard an incomplete and sanitized version of this story from the prosecution.

    DRJ (53e939)

  19. Re what Ramos testified to:

    I was referring to this portion in your summary:

    226 – Ramos did not see any [physical] confrontation between the suspect and anyone else.

    226-227 – Compean was on the south side of the canal when Ramos entered the ditch. Compean was trying to stop the suspect from going back south by yelling Parate and standing in front of him. Compean is holding a shotgun but Ramos didn’t see Compean do anything with the shotgun. Ramos did not see Compean and Aldrete-Davila make contact with each other at any point.

    Square this with the fact that OAD says he was walking towards Compean when Compean tried to hit him with the butt end of his shotgun. OAD says he avoided the blow and Compean fell, giving OAD an opportunity to get around him up the bank and off into the vega.

    Compean told the OIG investigator that he tried to push OAD away with the butt end of his shotgun — with the OIG investigator commenting that based on Compean’s description, Compean would have been presenting the trigger of the shotgun to OAD while having the barrel pointed in his own direction.

    Juarez (?) testified that he was on the top of the levy, without his gun drawn, watching Compean and OAD on the other side, when Compean swung the butt end of his shotgun at OAD and missed, causing Compean to lose his balance and fall face-first down the bank towards the water.

    We know Compean is covered with dirt.

    But, Ramos didn’t see or hear any of this while he’s crossing the ditch.

    Re leading questions by the proseuction — you seem to think this is somehow inappropriate. I lead witnesses all the time until there is an objection. Why wouldn’t I? Its up to the defense lawyer to safeguard the introduction of evidence on behalf of his client.

    Its not different than it being my obligation to safeguard against defense lawyers asking questions that assume facts not in evidence or which call for speculation, which is what defense attorneys regularly.

    I repeat, there is nothing wrong with a leading question or a question that calls for hearsay evidence unless that question is objected to.

    WLS (1b7f25)

  20. WLS,

    I don’t see the inconsistency in Ramos’ testimony. Ramos testified that when he saw OAD continue to move toward Compean, he [Ramos] decided to cross the ditch and go help Compean. Ramos was in the ditch when OAD moved around Compean and the shooting started. He could not see anything while he was in the ditch.

    As for leading questions, your response surprises me since I thought my point was clear. I agree it’s not improper to lead a witness but it does tell us something about the ability of witnesses to tell their stories. Maybe they were nervous or English is not their primary language, or maybe some were having problems keeping their stories straight. We each get to be the judge on that issue although only the jury gets to decide for real.

    DRJ (53e939)

  21. EricPWJohnson,

    Why did he shoot in the first place?

    I’ve wrote about an encylcopedia’s worth of text on that question in these threads.

    What type am I BTW? I’m curious….

    Extreme smuggler lover and BP hater.

    The question was, if you choose not to flee from it:

    Why didn’t Ramos kill Davila? According to your type, the dope smuggler was just waiting there after he was shot so wouldn’t that have been an opportune time to whack him?

    J Curtis (d21251)

  22. The shooting started while Ramos was in the ditch — yes. But he couldn’t see because Compean and OAD were already down the south side of the levy in the vega when the shooting started. There is testimony that the bottom of the ditch is 11 feet below the top of the levy.

    But, the confrontation between Compean and OAD happened on top of the levy as OAD was climbing up and out of the ditch. Compean fell down on the inside of the levy — that is the testimony of OAD and Juarez. So, from inside, while crossing through the water, Ramos should have been able to see what was happening up the bank on the other side of the ditch.

    After OAD got passed him and took off south, Compean got up and took off after him. At this point they would have crossed the levy road on the south side of the ditch, down the embankment and into the vega towards the river/border. Clearly Ramos couldn’t see any of that from the inside of the ditch. But he should have seen the confrontation involving the shotgun.

    One reason for denying that he saw it is that he then doesn’t have to be cross-examined on what he saw Compean do with the shotgun, and he doesn’t have to be cross-examined on whether OAD had his hands up with his palms open, i.e., no weapon.

    WLS (1b7f25)

  23. WLS,

    “191 – As the suspect got to Compean, he turned and looked at everyone and Ramos guessed he realized he was outnumbered a lot. When the suspect looked at Ramos, Ramos thought he had a look like “it was now or never.” The suspect made a move on Compean – he tried to get around him – and that’s when Ramos holstered his gun and jumped in the ditch.”

    I take it you believe Ramos lied when he said he didn’t see what Compean and OAD were doing as he jumped into an 11-foot-deep water-filled ditch.

    DRJ (53e939)

  24. DRJ, you said:

    “However, my efforts have slowed down considerably because – frankly – I’m depressed by this case and it’s hard to make myself work on it. I believe there is a material misstatement in Aldrete-Davila’s testimony that I hoped would be cleared up in later testimony but it hasn’t been. I’m concerned about the limits placed on the defense in questioning and challenging OAD’s story. I’m bothered by the prosecutor’s representation that drug smuggler’s don’t carry guns.”

    I feel the same way. What is the material misstatement made by OAD?

    WLS,

    Since prosecutors are supposed to do justice and not “win at all costs”, why do you feel it is appropriate to lead witnesses until the other side’s lawyer stops you? Aren’t you supposed by above that kind of gamesmanship?

    In the transcript, I saw repeated, consecutive objections by the defense to leading by Gonzales. The judge would sustain and he’d go right back to leading as if the judge never sustained anything. Finally, it appeared to me, the attorneys and judge just gave up on him.

    Jerri Lynn Ward (9f83e6)

  25. The suspect made a move on Compean – he tried to get around him – and that’s when Ramos holstered his gun and jumped in the ditch.”

    Comment by DRJ

    And that was the “confrontation” on the top of the ditch that WLS thought Ramos hadn’t seen. Davila testified that he was never touched. He escaped around Compean as Compean flipped his shotgun around to attempt to stop Davila by non-lethal means.

    There may have been a second confrontation between Compean and Davila that occurred once the two went over the levee. I’m not real certain about that one but got the impression somewhere–something about rolling down the south side of the levee and dirt being thrown in Compeans face. Maybe that’s something that will come up in the Compean testimony. Ramos wouldn’t have seen that because it would have happened just seconds after the first confrontation and would not have been observable from the north side of the levee which Ramos hadn’t scaled yet.

    It does seem kind of amazing that Compean caught up to Davila again to wrestle with him after he got juked considering that Davila seemed much more spry. On the other hand, Davila went thru the muck in the ditch and his shoes and pants up to the knees would be soaked and muddy.

    J Curtis (d21251)

  26. Jerri Lynn,

    I am concerned about OAD’s testimony regarding what happened when he confronted Compean:

    From my summary of Volume 7 p 106-107: “The agent on the levee continued to point the rifle at Aldrete-Davila, who had his hands raised because he thought he would be apprehended. Aldrete-Davila said twice “Take it easy, man, don’t hit me” and the agent responded twice or more, “Stop, you shit Mexican.” Aldrete-Davila stopped with both hands up. His hands were empty and he intended to give up and be arrested.”

    Thus, as OAD and Compean moved closer to each other, OAD’s only words were “Take it easy, man, don’t hit me” coupled with an intent to surrender. Does a desperate, fleeing man continue to advance as he stares down the barrel of a gun, only to panic and surrender when threatened by being hit by the butt of that gun? That seems unlikely to me but I want to hear Compean’s version. Nothing in Ramos’ testimony clarified this for me.

    DRJ (53e939)

  27. The obvious response to my last comment is that OAD surrendered because Compean was aiming his shotgun at him and Compean had not yet turned the gun to hit OAD. However, if that’s the case, why did OAD say “Take it easy man, don’t hit me“? If someone is aiming a gun at you, I can understand saying “Don’t shoot me” but not “Don’t hit me.”

    DRJ (53e939)

  28. DRJ – There was also testimony that someone was shouting, “Hit him! Hit him!” That would be one explanation.

    Tracy (3d9798)

  29. 3

    Since two (out of three) of the indicted officers in the groom shooting are black I doubt the prosecution will argue your motive. Not everything is about race.

    James B. Shearer (fc887e)

  30. DRJ

    “Does a desperate, fleeing man continue to advance as he stares down the barrel of a gun, only to panic and surrender when threatened by being hit by the butt of that gun? That seems unlikely to me but I want to hear Compean’s version.”

    Remember that OAD also testified that he was calculating the odds of getting away, just prior to that. He stated that he didn’t think they could shoot him.

    I think that he was continuing that calculation when he decided to go around Compean–that’s why he kept advancing, as he, himself admitted.

    Tracy, I’ve been wondering for a while if what OAD and Ramos actually heard was someone saying “git him! git him!” That’s how most Texans, including me, pronounce “get”.

    Jerri Lynn Ward (9f83e6)

  31. 26

    Since OAD had testified he didn’t think the border patrol was allowed to use deadly force I don’t see any mystery here. OAD was worried about being beaten but not about being shot.

    And I don’t see how this is material anyway. Once the unarmed OAD got by Compean, Compean had no justifiable reason to fire his weapon.

    James B. Shearer (fc887e)

  32. 18

    It was clear that some of the border patrol witnesses were reluctant to tell the complete truth but the obvious explanation is that they didn’t want to be snitches.

    James B. Shearer (fc887e)

  33. I’m concerned about the limits placed on the defense in questioning and challenging OAD’s story.

    Specfically?

    I’m bothered by the prosecutor’s representation that drug smugglers don’t carry guns.

    Unless I’m remembering things differently, that isn’t something that was represented to the jury. That came up outside the presence of the jury. I think the prosecution was giving fair warning to the defense that if they went the direction of “he must have been armed because he was smuggling”, they would put on evidence that none [or barely a handful, I can’t remember the exact representation] of hundreds of pot smugglers arrested in recent time were armed. Given that, the defense was wise to stay away from pushing that too much.

    Tracy (3d9798)

  34. Since two (out of three) of the indicted officers in the groom shooting are black I doubt the prosecution will argue your motive. Not everything is about race.

    Comment by James B. Shearer

    The DHS claimed that Mexicans Ramos and Compean wanted to “shoot some Mexicans”, and wasn’t the Bush Team trying to appeal to the Mexican jury that these agents were traitors to their race or some such thing?

    And let’s see, there was something else…oh yeah! The Bush Team dreamed up a racial slur that Mexican Compean was supposed to have said to the Mexican suspect. This provided Davila’s motive to keep fleeing ( slur = doesn’t have to surrender to Compean ). This was a pretty good way for Bush Team to leap that land mine.

    J Curtis (d21251)

  35. Tracy,

    First, the prosecutor’s representations were made to the Court and were (to me) clearly intended to forestall defense counsel’s inquiries into the subject of how likely it was that smugglers have guns. Thus, I agree it wasn’t a representation to the jury. Does that make it okay? In my area of practice, attorneys have obligations as officers of the Court and those obligations aren’t only owed to juries.

    Second, I realize there was testimony that someone was shouting “Hit him.” How does that negate my point? OAD is not afraid he will be shot but he is afraid of being hit with the butt of a gun? Come on. Playing devil’s advocate with myself, I think the best argument that can be made is this:

    We should take these witnesses at their words. Specifically, we should believe OAD when he said he knew the Border Patrol agents couldn’t and wouldn’t shoot him because he knows the rules of engagement on the border. On the other hand, OAD probably wasn’t sure if the agents would hit him so he was more agitated at the prospect of being hit with the butt of the gun than at the thought an agent was aiming a gun at him.

    In addition, we should believe Ramos when he said it’s a game of “cat and mouse.” Ramos knows it. OAD knows it. Perhaps on that day, OAD was feeling more like the cat than the mouse. Of course, if you accept this explanation, you have to accept that OAD was an experienced drug smuggler.

    DRJ (8b9d41)

  36. Tracy #33:

    I think the prosecution was giving fair warning to the defense that if they went the direction of “he must have been armed because he was smuggling”, they would put on evidence that none [or barely a handful, I can’t remember the exact representation] of hundreds of pot smugglers arrested in recent time were armed. Given that, the defense was wise to stay away from pushing that too much.

    I’m sure that was the prosecution’s purpose but it may not be accurate in this context. The vast majority of drug seizures occur at ports-of-entry where smugglers are caught with drugs hidden in vehicles, some as big as tractor-trailers. These smugglers are unarmed and that makes sense because having a weapon would make it even more likely for the smuggler to be targeted, searched and caught.

    On the other hand, border smugglers at locations outside the ports-of-entry are often armed, according to my telephone conversation with the Border Patrol’s public relations department last week.

    DRJ (8b9d41)

  37. James B. Shearer,

    I’m glad you aren’t letting the facts get in the way of your conclusion but, for others of us, a witness who does not provide accurate testimony may not be credible. Some cases are clear cut but some, like this one, involve conflicting testimony. The way we decide who to believe is evaluating whether the testimony is consistent and makes sense. OAD’s testimony doesn’t make sense to me.

    DRJ (8b9d41)

  38. they would put on evidence that none [or barely a handful, I can’t remember the exact representation] of hundreds of pot smugglers arrested in recent time were armed. Given that, the defense was wise to stay away from pushing that too much.

    Comment by Tracy

    I think the comparison group would be American vans/trucks ( with US plates ) not originating from Mexico and carrying a million dollar cargo of illegal drugs. How often would the driver be armed in such instances?

    I think a cop would be crazy and soon dead if he assumed such drivers are unarmed.

    J Curtis (d21251)

  39. I still think “hit him” was really “git him”.

    Jerri Lynn Ward (9f83e6)

  40. Tracy #33:

    I’m concerned about the limits placed on the defense in questioning and challenging OAD’s story.

    Specfically?

    I’m concerned the defense wasn’t fully able to question OAD about his immunity or the second offense. The same prosecutors who decided whether OAD was indicted on a second offense also sponsored him as the main witness against Ramos and Compean. That seems like a conflict to me.

    In addition, the Court prohibited the defense from inquiring into OAD’s past familiarity with drug smuggling (before and after-the-fact), presumably because it would be incriminating, prejudicial, or both. I’m familiar with evidentiary rules that protect defendants in this situation but it’s harder for me to understand rulings that protect a witness at the expense of the defendant’s 6th Amendment right to confront a witness.

    DRJ (8b9d41)

  41. #23 DRJ

    I think to say he jumped 11 feet into a water filled ditch misstates the physical location. The water in the bottom of the ditch was only knee deep. The enbankment from the top of the levy to the water was sloped, but steep enough that as someone climbed up they would have to use their hands for balance.

    So, its curious to me that Ramos would say on direct that he decided to holster his weapon and climb down in the ditch as he saw OAD approach Compean and make a move to get around him, but then under examination by Compean’s attorney he says he never saw any physical contact between Compean and OAD and he never saw anything between the two involving the shotgun.

    Juarez is standing on the levy with Ramos. He testified that he saw the entire episode, but he never had his gun drawn and he never went into the ditch. I wonder why? Was he a coward?

    Here’s my supposition — Ramos saw Compean swing the shotgun at OAD and miss, just like Juarez described. Compean then fell foward and OAD got around him and scrambled out of the ditch and over the levy. Ramos entered to go help Compean and make sure he was ok. Before he could reach the other side, Compean was on his feet and climbing out of the ditch to go after OAD.

    There is no way Compean is going to catch OAD in a footrace when OAD has such a headstart, so Compean decides to draw-down and shoot OAD out of anger and frustration over what happened on the levy.

    Ramos hears the shooting while climbing up the other side. He crosses the levy road on the south side, goes down into the vega and runs towards where he sees Compean shooting from. When he reaches there he squeezes off one shot, but then reassesses since Compean clearly isn’t in any danger from a suspect more than 100 feet away heading for the river.

    Only when he realizes that Compean’s shooting was out-of-policy — not in response to an actual or perceived threat — does he realize that his own shooting is now suspect as well.

    If he hadn’t hit OAD — which he didn’t realize he had — and everyone kept their mouths’ shut, it would have been fine.

    His bad luck was that he hit OAD and the bullet remained lodged inside him.

    So, yes, I think Ramos lied about what he saw on the levy/bank on the south side of the ditch, his reason for entering the ditch, and the events as they unfolded on the other side of the levy in the vega.

    WLS (1b7f25)

  42. Jerri Lynn,

    I’m not ignoring your point about “git’em” but I question how common that phrase is with people whose first language may be Spanish rather than English. My limited experience is that “git’em” is redneck talk and I don’t know if it’s common for Hispanics. Either way, however, based on OAD’s response, OAD either heard what he thought was “hit him” (even if it was really “git’em”) or he saw Compean move in a way that made OAD think he was going to be hit.

    DRJ (8b9d41)

  43. Jerri Lynn — asking questions in an objectionable form do not bring inadmissible or immaterial evidence into a trial. They simply suggest the answer to the witness. If the witness affirms the fact suggested in the question, the resulting record is no different than if the witness had provided the information without prompting. If the information contained in the form of the question is not accurate or contrary to established facts, the questioner will look very foolish and dishonest.

    I’m an advocate for the evidence on my side of the case. Being the strongest advocate possible is not unethical and is not antithetical to the idea of “doing justice.”

    Lawyers on both sides of cases allow questions of objectionable form in all the time — usually because they know what the answer to the question is going to be and they want the evidence in the case, or they know the evidence is going to be coming into the case and they don’t want to appear to be obstructive. Sometimes I’ll let a defense lawyer lead his own witness because I think the evidence from that witness is of no consequence, and yes, letting the other lawyer lead that witness saves time.

    Its the evidence that matters. The fact that it comes from unobjected to questions framed in an inappropriate manner is not a big thing.

    WLS (1b7f25)

  44. 37

    In my opinion OAD’s testimony was a lot closer to the truth than that of either Ramos or Compean.

    James B. Shearer (fc887e)

  45. 34

    So you think the cops in New York have been better off if they had shot three unarmed white people? I doubt it.

    James B. Shearer (fc887e)

  46. WLS,

    You have a good argument but your assumption is that Ramos is lying and OAD isn’t. I submit you are willing to believe OAD because his story was partially corroborated by the testimony of prosecution witnesses like Agent Juarez, the first non-participant at the scene. But Juarez was an inconsistent witness who had problems keeping his story straight.

    However, there is something even more interesting about Juarez’s testimony than his inconsistency. Let’s revisit what he said happened: Juarez arrived at the scene, saw a confrontation between OAD and Compean, slipped halfway down the ditch and then retreated as he heard gunshots, and finally stared off to the south as the incident progressed. Juarez admitted he didn’t say anything about what he saw or heard to Vasquez, Mendoza, Richards or Arnold, even though they arrived within moments. Ditto Agent Vasquez, to the extent he saw the events and/or heard gunshots.

    Contrast that with Christopher Sanchez – the OIG/prosecution expert agent– who testified he would have gone to help Compean as quickly as he could – especially if he heard gunshots. If that isn’t proof that Fabens did things differently, I don’t know what is.

    DRJ (8b9d41)

  47. WLS,

    It’s funny that despite your calling me an “idiot” repeatedly and several other names, you’ve come to nearly the same supposition I came to in the first thread ( comment 12 second to last paragraph ).

    I don’t know precisely what you believe Ramos is lying about but considering that he’d have an expectation that Davila was armed and Davila’s hands would be dirty and stained from the weeds while climbing out of the ditch and he was a good distance away when Ramos observed him, I do believe that Ramos at the very least thought he saw a gun.

    I also wouldn’t be surprised if Compean was winded and not standing when Ramos came to the scene and in that split second he may have felt Compean had been shot.

    I don’t think Compean shot at the ground so much in frustration but in an attempt to make Davila surrender. When a suspect runs past a cop to escape, cops always chase after the suspect.

    The idea that he’d only want to apprehend the suspect because he was somehow embarrassed was Johnny Sutton’s appeal to the general public to contemplate this in slow motion with their Hollywood conditioning…Compean spits the dirt out of his mouth and with a scowl mutters “why you, I’ll make you pay for that you damn Mexican”.

    J Curtis (d21251)

  48. DRJ,

    My experience with Texan Hispanics is that they say “git” too. The hispanic mother of the baby at Brackenridge whom I am representing says “git”. (by the way, watch the news this week on that one) So does her Mexico-born mother.

    I just think it’s a possibility.

    WLS, your point is well taken–but I sure found Gonzales to be irritating.

    Jerri Lynn Ward (9f83e6)

  49. DRJ

    First I appreciate your going through the transcripts

    Second using Tourettes Syndrone an extremely rare disease has been making the rounds in court to explain behavior.

    Just like using neck braces also Tourettes can be easily immitated.

    Second, its interesting that Ramos has lied has an extensive arrest record before the trial. Clearly in Kanoff’s cross he lies more than 4 times about where AD’s hands were, remember this is someone who is now a convicted felon on 11 out of 12 counts – not a boy scout.

    He’s also a wife beater, child beater and assaulted an elderly man all this and with Tourettes syndrone as well.

    People who somehow do not believe the spoken word of this man.

    Kanoff just asks him questions about his statements, his reports, never throws in all the racial or moral crap that has been reported as God Given facts and has riled up the country. I see no prosecutorial abuse, I see a professional attorney carefully walking through a person who was trying to cherry pick his memory.

    What I did see is the defense counsel to the point of annoyance of the jury dangerously objecting continously every time Ramos stumbled over his answers.

    This was another thing that doomed her client in front of the Jury

    EricPWJohnson (695c44)

  50. DRJ,

    Another piece of the mental video of the incident I see is Juarez already half way down in the ditch because he had slipped in and as the shots are fired he is closest to go help Compean but he runs away from the gunshots to the north climbing out of the ditch at the same time Ramos is running to the incident south into the ditch and towards the expected gun battle.

    I don’t think Juarez is gonna want to attend the movie premiere.

    J Curtis (d21251)

  51. Jerri Lynn,

    Thanks for teaching me something new about how we Texans talk. It’s interesting which Texas sayings non-native speakers pick up.

    I’ve been checking the news everyday about Emilio at both the Chronicle and Statesman websites. There won’t be a happy ending but I know your efforts will bring the family some comfort.

    DRJ (53e939)

  52. J Curtis,

    I hear you and I agree that wouldn’t be a good image.

    I associate Juarez with desperation – he seemed desperate not to say anything wrong in his testimony, desperate not to snitch (as James B. Shearer said earlier), and especially desperate to have this trial go away so he could keep his job. He was a sad figure, especially since I think it was inevitable that the Border Patrol was going to fire him.

    DRJ (53e939)

  53. DRJ

    I have problems with your matter of fact statement about the depth of the ditch

    I’ve seen photos there is no 11 foot deep ditch in Fabens and I’m sure if you actually researched it you would find that a sloping ditch with equal rates of decline would be quite a large impossing landmark the size of a small river.

    I’ve seen the actual crime scene and saw the rather elderly BBC reporter standing in the ditch its about 15 feet across and easliy seen from the road as you are in an elevated position as Ramos testified that he was.

    If Ramos was in the ditch of the size stated he would have to have spent a minute or two climbing out maye more if he was soaked

    Also jumping into a ditch – DEEPER THAN MOST SINGLE STORY HOUSES – seemed to be a stretch

    EricPWJohnson (695c44)

  54. Eric,

    I believe there is ample testimony that the ditch is 11 feet deep:

    From Aldrete-Davila’s testimony: (Vol 7 pp 187-188) – The ditch is deep with water about to your knees. The edge is steep and covered with foliage. The ditch is deeper than Aldrete-Davila’s height. When you are in the ditch, you are below the level of the ground.

    Also from Aldrete-Davila’s testimony: (Volume 8 pp 36-38) – The ditch was deeper than he is tall. It is approximately 2-1/2 meters. He doesn’t know what that is in feet. [12 feet?] He is approximately 1-1/2 meters tall. The water in the ditch came up to his knees.

    From Juarez’s testimony: (Volume 8 pp 77-78) – The ditch is bushy and deeper than a person is tall, but the water isn’t that deep.

    From Mendoza’s testimony: (Volume 10 pp 49-50) – Government Exhibit 31 is identified as a photo of the area, apparently including the ditch, with a topographic scale that the witnesses used to gauge the distances. Mendoza used it to gauge the height of the levee at 10 feet (at p 51). Ramos used it to gauge the depth of the ditch at 11 feet [see below].

    From Ramos’ direct testimony: (Volume 12 pp 194-195) – Ramos agrees with the Court exhibits that show the ditch is about 11 feet deep. [Ramos verified as accurate the measurements in a diagram identified as GOV EXH 31.]

    DRJ (53e939)

  55. By the way, Eric, the steep slope of the ditch could be why Juarez and Compean both slipped and Ramos had to use his hands to enter and exit the ditch. It also supports the conclusion that Aldrete-Davila had to use his hands to exit the ditch, as opposed to raising them to surrender.

    DRJ (53e939)

  56. 46

    I do think it is significant that Juarez and Vasquez were unconcerned about hearing gunshots. My guess is that they were unconcerned because they knew it was Compean shooting to scare OAD and that they knew this because Compean had done similar things before.

    James B. Shearer (6845a4)

  57. 56 — I think Juarez wasn’t concerned about Compean’s safety when he heard gunshots because he knows the sound of a .40 caliber Glock, and that was the only sound he heard. Different caliber handguns have distinct sounds. Law enforcement officers who all shoot the same caliber handgun easily recognize its sound.

    Juarez also knew that OAD was unarmed.

    Juarez also knew that OAD had big headstart on Compean by the time Compean recovered from his fall, scrambled out of the ditch, and took off after Compean in the vega.

    I’d be willing to bet that if there was a video of the incident, we would see Juarez and Ramos laughing at Compean when he fell, which only frustrated and angered Compean more.

    And he took it out on OAD by chasing him and shooting at him.

    Its where human nature overtakes training.

    WLS (1b7f25)

  58. Juarez also knew that OAD was unarmed.

    Comment by WLS

    I’ve seen a photo of Davila and depending on what kind of clothes he was wearing, I would not assume he didn’t have a weapon.

    If he was wearing the low rider baggie pants or loose shirt, coat, etc. I’d assume he was concealing a weapon on his body. Can’t ignore the stereotype when we already know that Davila is a criminal.

    And it wouldn’t just be Davila that was a threat to Compean. Three weeks before the trial began, there was an armed standoff between BP and Mexican military when the BP was trying to chase down a smuggler heading back to Mexico.

    Davila testified that his criminal buddies were watching the incident take place and don’t try to tell me that they weren’t armed either.

    J Curtis (d21251)

  59. WLS,

    You should consider writing legal fiction. You have a knack for it.

    DRJ (53e939)

  60. “Re leading questions by the proseuction — you seem to think this is somehow inappropriate. I lead witnesses all the time until there is an objection. Why wouldn’t I? Its up to the defense lawyer to safeguard the introduction of evidence on behalf of his client.

    Its not different than it being my obligation to safeguard against defense lawyers asking questions that assume facts not in evidence or which call for speculation, which is what defense attorneys regularly.

    I repeat, there is nothing wrong with a leading question or a question that calls for hearsay evidence unless that question is objected to. ”
    *********
    Thank You Mr. Nifong, now are there any citizens that care more about justice being served as opposed to the prosecution lawyer furthering his career?

    Witness integrity.

    Agents, most had a letter protecting them from prosecution. Did not matter what they said.

    Compean/Ramos, facing prison and some rather sticking to high heaven odds at being to beat the raps against them, as most of the time the BP evidently7 does not exactly follow written procedures and such. So they are about to get bent over no matter what they say!

    AOD, Wow, basically getting paid, having his family taken care of, getting a free ride to continue to smuggle dope into the states, and getting patched up by the best medical teams in the states. (Now paco, just6 keep your story along these lines and all that will come to pass for you and yours).

    Now that by gawd is the best prosecution witness that taxpayer dollars can buy! Dependable, truthful and motivated. Yuppers, I want dat boy in da box!

    TC (b48fdd)

  61. I submit you are willing to believe OAD because his story was partially corroborated by the testimony of prosecution witnesses like Agent Juarez…

    The Aldrete testimony that troubles you was actually also corroborated by Compean:

    11 He gets now to the south side of the ditch, correct?
    12 A. Yes, sir.
    13 Q. And you’re still pointing at him?
    14 A. Yes, sir.
    15 Q. And then what happens?
    16 A. And then I believe that’s when I had heard someone yell,
    17 Hit him.
    18 Q. So someone did yell, Hit him, hit him?
    19 A. Yes, sir.
    20 Q. Why would anyone yell it? Do you have any idea?
    21 A. No, sir.

    Tracy (3d9798)

  62. Thanks, Tracy. I’m not there yet but I accept it’s true. I assumed someone did yell “Hit him” but I still don’t see why it matters.

    If you were in a situation like this, does it strike you as normal that you would advance toward an officer aiming a gun at you but only become agitated when you heard people yelling at the officer to hit you? That only makes sense if you are sure the officer will not shoot.

    The only way OAD can know the officer won’t shoot is if he’s an experienced drug runner. Emphasis on experienced – I don’t care how many times someone promises me officers won’t shoot, I wouldn’t believe it until I experienced it for myself – probably several times.

    I concede it would be completely different if OAD had said “Don’t shoot me” when Compean aimed the gun at him, and then said “Don’t hit me” when others yelled at Compean to “Hit him.” That would be consistent. The way OAD said it happened doesn’t make sense to me.

    DRJ (53e939)

  63. And more from Compean:

    1 Q. Did he ever say anything to you?
    2 A. He said, No me pegues. I believe he said it twice.
    3 Q. And that was in response to what?
    4 A. I heard someone behind him yelling, Hit him.
    5 Q. Do you know who that was?
    6 A. No, sir, I do not.

    Tracy (3d9798)

  64. 20 Q. Why would anyone yell it ( hit him )? Do you have any idea?
    21 A. No, sir
    .

    Because he was a Texas felon trying to escape to another country and someone wanted to see him apprehended non-lethally?

    J Curtis (d21251)

  65. Accident Claims make sure youre not legally-confused.com

    - Legally-Confused.com (48e229)


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