A judge has postponed the trial for two men accused in the December 2010 death of U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry.
In a closed hearing last week, U.S. District Judge David C. Bury decided that the current June 12 trial date will not work, newly released minutes of the hearing say. He did not set a new trial date.
"The Court and counsel confer as to the current trial date," the minutes say. "All parties agree the current date is not feasible. Based on defendant's waiver of speedy trial and at the request of both parties the trial date of June 12, 2012 will be reset."
The case against Manuel Osorio-Arellanes and co-defendant Rito Osorio-Arellanes has been sealed by Bury, but a coalition of news organizations is in litigation to open up the court case, and the minutes were released as part of that process. Manuel is charged with second-degree murder in the case, but it is unclear what charge Rito faces.
Bury set a new status hearing for Aug. 20.
Terry, an agent in the patrol's elite Bortac unit, was killed in a gunfight with a group of suspected border bandits west of Rio Rico. Manuel Osorio-Arellanes was wounded in the gunfire, but prosecutors have not alleged he was the shooter who killed Terry.
Court documents released May 11 show that Manuel Osorio-Arellanes' attorney thought last year that a plea agreement was close in the case. In a Sept. 19 status conference before then-U.S. Magistrate Jennifer Zipps, attorney Clay Hernandez said that was before the U.S. Attorney's Office in San Diego took over the case from Tucson prosecutors.
Before that, he said, "We were extremely close, days away actually from probably setting a change of plea."
On Jan. 12, Bury ordered that prosecutors unseal and release certain types of documents in the case - indictments as well as orders and minute entries issued by the court - but he declined to unseal the entire case file, as requested by the Arizona Daily Star and five other news outlets. Prosecutors want the case remain sealed until all those indicted have been arrested, Bury said.
Contact reporter Tim Steller at 807-8427 or firstname.lastname@example.org