A Mexican man has been convicted of murder after ramming a US Coastguard inflatable boat, killing an officer onboard
A man from Mexico has been convicted for murder after ramming his vessel into a US Coastguard inflatable boat.
Jose Meija-Leyva, a 42-year-old from Ensenada in Mexico, was found guilty of murder, two counts of failure to yield to a coastguard command and four counts of assaulting federal officers with a deadly and dangerous weapon.
Chief petty officer Terrell Horne was killed following the incident off the coast of California in December 2012, reports Reuters.
Mr Meija-Leyva and his shipmate Manuel Beltran-Higuera were suspected of using their vessel to smuggle marijuana.
When the pair were approached by the officers, Mr Meija-Levya deliberately used his boat to drive into them, causing two officers to be thrown into the water.
Mr Horne died after a boat propeller struck him in the head, while his colleague only suffered a cut to his knee.
Mr Beltran-Higuera was convicted of two counts of failure to yield and four counts of assault as an accessory.
Coastguard commandant Admiral Robert J. Papp Jr said: “We are pleased with the verdict and that those responsible for Senior Chief Horne’s death will be held accountable.”
The two men are due to be sentenced on 12 May.
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Sketch by Bill Robles