Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Border Patrol’s culture discussed by defense witness.

Sentencing Phase Continues with Expert Testimony

The sentencing phase for ex-Border Patrol agent Ronald Anthony Burgos Aviles has entered its fourth day, with the defense calling expert witnesses. Previously found guilty of killing Grizelda Hernandez and their son Dominic Alexander in 2018, Burgos now faces the repercussions of his actions.

Understanding Border Patrol Culture

The defense brought in anthropologist Dr. Blaine Campbell, a professor at the University of El Paso, to shed light on the culture among Border Patrol agents. Dr. Campbell, who has spent over 20 years studying law enforcement agencies, including Border Patrol, was asked to provide his expert opinion on the potential challenges Ronald Anthony Burgos-Aviles could have faced as an agent in Laredo.

Validity of Expert Opinion Scrutinized

Before Dr. Campbell’s testimony was heard by the jury, the state questioned the validity of his expert opinion during the sentencing phase. Despite this, the judge ruled in favor of allowing the jurors to hear Dr. Campbell’s insights.

Challenges Faced by Border Patrol Agents

Based on his extensive research, Dr. Campbell told jurors that the life of a Border Patrol agent, particularly in a supervisory role like Burgos’s, is hard, dangerous, and filled with stress. He highlighted the male-dominated nature of the agency, often driven by individuals striving for alpha male status and influenced by “machismo”.

The Connection between Cultural Factors and the Crime

The state used graphic images to illustrate the tie between the machismo culture prevalent in Border Patrol and the crime committed by Burgos. Dr. Campbell was questioned about his knowledge of another convicted Border Patrol agent, Juan David Ortiz, and the differences between their crimes. Dr. Campbell confirmed his familiarity with Ortiz’s case, in which he was convicted of the murders of four women and received a life sentence without parole.

Unpredictable Duration of Sentencing Phase

As the death penalty remains a possibility, it is unclear how long the sentencing phase will last. More witnesses are expected to take the stand as the trial proceeds.

Stay Updated on the Trial

KGNS will continue to provide live coverage of the sentencing phase on their livestream under live events. In addition, a recap of the trial can be watched on the KGNS YouTube Channel. For other headlines, visit here.



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