Judge Calls Out U.S. Attorney for Deporting Crime Witness

The witness, of course, might have helped the defense


The 9th Circuit slammed the U.S. attorney in San Diego on Friday for deporting a possible witness who could have undermined an alien-smuggling case.

Border Patrol agents arrested Jonathan Leal-Del Carmen in 2010 with a group of suspected illegal migrants. Three members of the group fingered him as the leader, though one woman, Ana Maria Garcia-Garcia, said several times that he was not.

The government secured the testimony of the witnesses against Leal-Del Carmen, but deported Garcia-Garcia before the suspect's arraignment.

Later, Leal-Del Carmen's attorney forced the government to turn over the videotapes of the witnesses, and only then did he discover the possibly exculpatory testimony of Garcia-Garcia.