BISBEE, Ariz. (AP) _ A U.S. Border Patrol agent pleaded not guilty Monday to charges that he fatally shot an illegal immigrant who he claimed threatened him with a rock.
Nicholas Corbett, 41, is charged with second-degree murder, manslaughter and negligent homicide in the death of 22-year-old Francisco Javier Dominguez Rivera, of Puebla, Mexico, in January just north of the border.
Dominguez, his two brothers and a girlfriend of one of the brothers were stopped by Corbett on Jan. 12. The four had crossed the Mexican border near Naco.
During an Aug. 6 hearing, the three said they turned around and were running back within a few hundred yards of the border, trying to evade capture, when they saw Corbett's vehicle heading toward them.
They said Corbett drove his Border Patrol vehicle in a circle around them to cut them off.
Corbett told supervisory agents he had shot Francisco Dominguez after the man allegedly threatened him with a rock. Witnesses, however, said Corbett shot Dominguez without provocation.
Corbett has been on administrative desk duty at the patrol's Naco station since the shooting. His trial is set for Dec. 18, prosecutors said.