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Breaking News! Johnny Sutton Facing Possible Ethics Investigation

May 13, 2008

Group files ethics complaint against U.S. attorney

AUSTIN — A conservative Christian group has filed an ethics complaint against a federal prosecutor, arguing that he mishandled the case of two Border Patrol agents convicted of shooting a fleeing drug suspect and hiding evidence.

In the complaint, Kentucky-based Christians Reviving America’s Values asked the Texas Bar Association to investigate U.S. Attorney Johnny Sutton, arguing that he willfully misled the jury to convict Border Patrol Agents Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean.

Sutton’s office did not immediately return calls from The Associated Press seeking comment Monday.

A federal jury in Texas convicted Ramos and Compean of assault, obstruction of justice and civil rights violations in the wounding of Osvaldo Aldrete Davila on the Texas border near El Paso in 2005. A federal judge sentenced Compean to 12 years in prison and Ramos to 11 years.

Appeals are pending in the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

“This whole case stinks to the highest parts of heaven,” said Don Swarthout, president of the Christian group. “How is it possible in America to convict two border agents for simply doing their jobs and send them to prison for 11 and 12 years? How is it possible for Johnny Sutton’s office to ruin the lives of two of our border agents based on the word of a known Mexican drug smuggler?”

The convictions caused a national firestorm among conservative lawmakers and others. Critics have repeatedly called the prosecution unjustified and the sentences extreme.

In exchange for his testimony against the agents, Aldrete was given immunity from prosecution for allegedly trying to smuggle drugs the day he was shot.

Jurors didn’t hear evidence that Aldrete allegedly smuggled marijuana into the United States several months after the shooting.

The complaint alleges Sutton’s office misled the public and jury about Aldrete’s subsequent arrest.

During his trial, Compean testified that he shot in self-defense after seeing what he believed to be a gun in Aldrete’s hand. Ramos said he fired in defense of Compean. Aldrete denied having a gun. Both agents acknowledged not reporting the incident.

Previous reports:
Compean and Ramos Betrayed!

“Free Ramos and Compean”

Petition To Pardon Border Agents Ramos and Compean [Updated]
The Untold Story of Border Patrol Agent Gary Brugman and the Pattern of Malicious Prosecution by U.S. Attorney Johnny Sutton
Showdown at the Sutton Corral!
Showdown at the Sutton Corral! [Update 2]
Tancredo Still Pulling For Ramos and Compean
Exclusive: Border Patrol Agent Gary Brugman Set Free!

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