A 15-year-old South Texas boy has been charged with nine counts of murder after he crashed a minivan packed with illegal immigrants near McAllen, killing nine of them, reports the Associated Press. The boy, who is not being identified because he is a juvenile, cried Monday during a probable cause hearing at a juvenile detention facility.
Border Patrol agents pulled over the van April 10. As it stopped, one person jumped from the vehicle and ran. When agents pursued him the van sped off. It crashed a few blocks away, scattering a parking lot with bodies. The driver escaped, but was arrested two days later at his home. A detective who attended the probable cause hearing said the teen told the judge that if he didn’t drive the van they were going to kill his family. The teen didn’t say who “they” were. State prosecutors can pursue the felony murder charges because the deaths occurred during the commission of a felony. A judge will eventually decide whether the boy will be tried as an adult.