McALLEN, Texas — A 14-year-old driver whose high-speed flight from authorities near the Texas-Mexico border ended with two Guatemalan immigrants being shot to death by a state trooper in a helicopter was back in custody Tuesday.
The juvenile, whose identity is not being released, appeared before a judge Monday. He was arrested immediately after the Oct. 25 chase near La Joya, but confusion among authorities led to his release to his family. McAllen police arrested him Friday after he was pulled over in a stolen truck.
Texas Parks and Wildlife game wardens started the October chase after they suspected the red pickup of carrying a drug load. A Texas Department of Public Safety helicopter joined the pursuit on a rural gravel road near La Joya.
Texas Department of Public Safety officials have said the helicopter crew believed the truck was carrying a covered drug load in the bed, so a sharpshooter aboard fired to stop it. There were no drugs found on the truck. Instead the shots killed two of the nine Guatemalan immigrants travelling in the truck. Six of them, including the two who died, were in the bed under a blanket.
Last month, under pressure from civil rights groups and the Guatemalan government, DPS said it would turn over its completed investigation to federal authorities.
Alba Caceres, Guatemala's consul in McAllen, said she had heard the boy had been detained, but had not been told anything officially. "This signifies that they're doing something good," she said.
Texas Parks and Wildlife spokesman Mike Cox told The Associated Press Tuesday, that the agency would work with the district attorney's office to determine charges for the teenager, but he would likely face at least a charge for evading.
Hidalgo County District Attorney Rene Guerra, who had previously said he would take the case to a grand jury, did not immediately return a call seeking comment.