Federal prosecutors may have overreacted in their case against two Border Patrol agents who were sentenced to lengthy prison terms after jurors convicted them of shooting a fleeing drug suspect and hiding evidence of the incident, an appeals court judge said Monday.
Judge E. Grady Jolly, one of three judges from the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals hearing the case of Ignacio Ramos and Jose Alonso Compean, questioned whether the two agents would have been charged if they had reported the shooting.
"For some reason, this one got out of hand, it seems to me," Jolly said of the agents' prosecution.
The agents' wives and several Border Control agents attended Monday's hearing.
"I'm still very guarded about it, because you never know what to expect," Ramos' wife, Monica, said.
Compean's wife, Claudia, said the judges' remarks gave her a "little hope."
"It was very encouraging, considering the luck we've had in the past," she said.
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