Federal prosecutors are fighting an effort by a slain border agent's parents to intervene as victims in the case of an accused Phoenix gun runner, reports the Arizona Daily Star. The family of Brian Terry, killed Dec. 14, argued in a court filing that they should be considered formal victims of Jaime Avila. He is accused of buying AK-47s and other guns from stores in the Phoenix area on behalf of organized crime groups in Mexico.
The family cites news reports and a congressional investigation in saying in their court filing that Avila was the source of the weapon used to kill Terry. But in their response, federal prosecutors say that has not been determined. Whether Avila was the source of the weapon or not, they say, the family does not fit the legal definition of “victims” under the Crime Victims Rights Act. As officially recognized victims, Terry's family would be informed in advance of hearings, filings and other events in the case against Avila and his co-defendants.