LOS ANGELES (AP) – In a story Feb. 5 about the conviction of a Mexican national in the killing of a Coast Guard crewman The Associated Press reported erroneously the history of Coast Guard fatalities. Terrell Horne III was the first Coast Guardsman to be killed while engaged in law enforcement operations since 1927, not the first to be killed in the line of duty since that year.
A corrected version of the story is below:
Boat operator guilty of killing Coast Guardsman
Mexican national convicted of murder in ramming of Coast Guard vessel off California
By LINDA DEUTSCH
AP Special Correspondent
LOS ANGELES (AP) _ A Mexican national was convicted Wednesday of killing a Coast Guard crewman by ramming his 30-foot panga boat into the vessel the guardsman was in as it approached Santa Cruz Island off the coast of Southern California.
U.S. Attorney spokesman Thom Mrozek said Jose Meija Leyva was found guilty of second-degree murder of a federal officer and other charges. A second man on the panga boat, Manuel Beltran Higuera of Mexico, was convicted of lesser charges.
Chief Petty Officer Terrell Horne III was knocked into the water by the Dec. 2, 2012, collision. He died of blunt force trauma when he was struck in the head by the panga boat’s propeller.
Horne, 34, was the first the first Coast Guardsman to be killed while engaged in law enforcement operations since 1927.
Jurors in U.S. District Judge Gary A. Feess’ court deliberated less than a day before convicting Meija Leyva of the murder count, two counts of failure to heave to and four counts of assault on a federal officer with a deadly and dangerous weapon.
Beltran Higuera was convicted of one count of failing to heave to as an accessory after the fact and a second count of failing to heave to as an aider and abettor. He also was convicted of four counts of assault on a federal officer.
Meija Leyva faces a maximum of life in prison when he is sentenced March 12. Beltran Higuera faces a maximum of 60 years.
“We are pleased with the verdict and that those responsible for Senior Chief Horne’s death will be held accountable,” said Admiral Robert J. Papp, Jr., commandant of the Coast Guard. “While the conviction of Senior Chief Horne’s killers cannot make up for the loss of a family member, friend and shipmate, we do hope that the conclusion of this case provides some level of comfort and closure to his loved ones.”
A four-man Coast Guard crew was conducting a drug-smuggling investigation off the Southern California coast when it approached the panga boat about 180 miles northwest of Mexico. Such vessels are often used to smuggle drugs. Authorities said this one was traveling with its lights out when it was approached about 1:30 a.m.
Horne and the other Coast Guard members were about 20 yards away, the Guard said, when they flashed their boat’s lights and ordered Meija Leyva and Beltran Higuera, in both English and Spanish, to surrender. Instead, authorities said, Meija Leyva gunned the boat at them.
Horne and Guardsman Brandon Langdon were tossed overboard. Langdon suffered a knee injury.
The panga boat fled, with authorities in planes and boats chasing it for four hours before its engine died about 20 miles north of Mexico. The pair were taken into custody after being pepper sprayed.
Authorities said Meija Leyva identified himself as the boat’s captain and told them he was taking gasoline to lost friends. They said Beltran Higuera told them he was offered $3,000 to deliver gasoline to another boat, but no fuel was found.
The Coast Guard crew approached the panga boat in a 21-foot, rigid-hull inflatable vessel that is routinely used in drug investigations because it’s faster and more agile than larger vessels.
Authorities said one of the guardsmen, Jonathan D’Arcy, fired several shots as the panga boat raced toward the smaller vessel, while Guardsman Michael Walker attempted to steer out of the way.
(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
- 7 common ways to get sued by your employees
- Why it might be time to upgrade your toilet
- Arizona teachers are building a better future by using technology in the classroom
- How to make summer reading fun for the whole family
- How to find relief for chronic joint pain
- Can the NBA Lottery save the Suns?
- Skip Urgent Care: 5 ailments you can treat with telemedicine
- Skin Cancer in Arizona: Stats, facts and new immunotherapy drugs making strides
- Distracted walking injuries end up not so funny
- Scary situations: 5 quick tips before you let a contractor in your home
- Four ways telemedicine is changing the health care industry
- 5 mistakes homeowners make in the spring
- Three rivers run through it: Exploring Arizona's waterways
- Smart home basics: things you need to know to get started
- 5 Surprising things causing back pain
- Arizona agriculture is a $17.1B industry
- Timeline: Arizona's roots in brewing history
- 5 reasons to love the D-backs this season
- Tips for taking your home entertainment experience to the backyard
- Tech-related injuries your parents never experienced
- Workers comp: Signs your co-worker could be a fraud
- Who's the real founder of America's pastime?
- Epidemic rising? What you need to know about Alzheimer's in Arizona
- 5 unforgettable Wooden Award winners
- Family and hard work are keys to success of modern dairy farmers
- Genetic testing could hold answers for colon cancer survival
- Cold beers and baseball: A beer lover's guide to Spring Training
- Telecommuting: 5 tips to make it work for employers and employees
- See how top CFOs feel about economic growth in the Valley
- Migraine myths that keep patients from effective treatments