Border Patrol Agent Sued for Wrongful Death

TUCSON (CN) – The family of a man who was shot to death by a Border Patrol agent says the agency’s hiring practices are partly to blame for the death. Francisco Dominguez-Rivera’s family says the agency should have known of Nicholas W. Corbett’s history of “ethnic hatred” before allowing him in the field.

     Corbett was tried twice in 2008 on charges of killing Francisco Dominguez-Rivera, a 22-year-old immigrant who was making his way back to Mexico through the desert near Douglas when Corbett arrested him. After nearly hitting Dominguez-Rivera and three others with his vehicle, Corbett arrested the group and, without provocation, shot Dominguez-Rivera “execution style, within a firing range of approximately 3 to 12 inches,” according to the federal complaint.
     Corbett claimed self-defense, but the autopsy and ballistics evidence back up claims by Dominguez-Rivera’s companions that there had been no altercation before the shooting. Corbett was charged with second-degree murder. Both trials ended with hung juries, and the charges were dropped.
     Corbett has a history of domestic violence and assault – a fact that came out during both trials – and he “was very vocal about his hatred of Mexicans and blacks,” the lawsuit states.
     The lead plaintiff, Renato Ariza Dominguez, Dominguez-Rivera’s father, sued Corbett and the United States, claiming Corbett’s supervisors “should have known of the numerous ethnic, racially and/or otherwise motivated physical altercations that Corbett had been responsible for before and during his employment as a U.S. Border Patrol Agent.”
     The family seeks punitive damages. They are represented by Richard Gonzalez.

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