Monday, February 6, 2023 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Second Mistrial In Fatal Border Shooting

TUCSON (CN) - A retrial of a Border Patrol agent accused of killing a Mexican immigrant resulted in a deadlocked jury, after a first mistrial in March. The Cochise County Attorney was unable to secure a federal conviction on second-degree murder, manslaughter or negligent homicide charges against Officer Nicholas Corbett.

Corbett claimed he shot Francisco Javier Dominguez Rivera in self-defense. Dominguez, of Central Mexico, allegedly brandished a rock while being rounded up with three others just north of the Mexican border near Douglas, Ariz., in January 2007.

Corbett's first trial, in March 2008, resulted in a deadlocked jury.

In the second trial, which concluded Tuesday, a single juror is believed to have held out in favor of conviction on the negligent homicide charge.

In both trials, Rivera's three companions testified that he was surrendering when Corbett shot him from behind.

County officials could not say whether they would press a new set of charges against Corbett, now 41 years old. He faced 4 to 22 years in jail.

Sean Chapman represented Corbett in the trial before U.S. District Judge David C. Bury. The county hired former Arizona Attorney General Grant Woods to prosecute the case.

Read the Top 8

Sign up for the Top 8, a roundup of the day's top stories delivered directly to your inbox Monday through Friday.