June 21, 1997 in Nation/World

Texas To Seek Murder Charge Against Marine

Associated Press
 

The Texas Rangers will reportedly seek a murder indictment against the Marine suspected of fatally shooting a teenager along the Texas-Mexico border last month.

Capt. Barry Caver told the El Paso Times that the Rangers will seek the charge against Marine Cpl. Clemente Banuelos, who allegedly shot and killed 18-year-old Ezequiel Hernandez.

Lesser charges will be sought against the other three Marines who were on patrol with Banuelos, Caver said in today’s editions of the newspaper.

The development follows increasing questions by investigators over the military’s claim of self-defense in the May 20 incident.

Texas Ranger David Duncan, the chief investigator, said Friday that the Marines waited 22 minutes before giving first aid or calling for help. He also said 20 minutes elapsed between the time Hernandez allegedly shot at a military surveillance team and the time a Marine returned fire.

Military officials say a member of the four-man team shot Hernandez after the teen had fired twice at the Marines, who were watching a suspected drug route 200 miles southeast of El Paso at the request of the Border Patrol.

The military maintains the 18-year-old Hernandez had raised his .22-caliber rifle for a third shot when the Marine opened fire.

Duncan said he didn’t know if the delay in medical aid might have played a role in Hernandez’s death.

© Copyright 1997 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


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