Activist acquitted of harboring immigrants
TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) – The Latest on the trial of a border humanitarian charged with immigrant harboring (all times local):
A jury in Arizona has acquitted an activist on charges he illegally helped two migrant men from Central America evade authorities.
Scott Warren was charged with harboring for his role in providing shelter to the men who had crossed the border illegally in January 2018.
The trial was the second for Warren, who maintained he was fulfilling his mission as a humanitarian when he provided basic medical care to the men.
He allowed them to stay at a camp run by volunteers who rescue migrants in desert.
A jury in June deadlocked on charges against him in the first trial.
Prosecutors contended Warren knowingly broke the law by allowing the men to stay at the camp.
They said Warren gave them directions to help them avoid a Border Patrol checkpoint.
A jury is now deliberating charges against an Arizona member of a humanitarian group charged with immigrant harboring.
The case against 37-year-old Scott Warren of Ajo, Arizona, has garnered international attention as he faces his second trial for his role in providing shelter to two Central American men who had sneaked into the U.S. from Mexico.
Warren says he was helping two injured men in need and always followed the law. Prosecutors say he knowingly broke the law by hiding the men from Border Patrol agents, and that they didn’t have serious injuries.
The first trial against Warren ended with a deadlocked jury, resulting in a mistrial. He now faces two counts of harboring.
Warren and his supporters say the work of humanitarians is increasingly under attack. Other members of his group have been arrested on trespassing charges for accessing a restricted road to drop off water jugs in the desert.
Closing statements were held Wednesday morning. The jury began deliberating in the afternoon.
A prosecutor says an activist on trial on charges of harboring immigrants tried to hide two Central American men at a camp in southern Arizona and signaled directions to help them avoid an immigration checkpoint.
Prosecutor Nathaniel Walters says Wednesday during closing arguments that Scott Warren’s claim he was “orienting” the men before they left the camp was bogus.
Warren contends he was fulfilling his mission as a humanitarian when he helped the immigrants.
Warren denied helping hide immigrants or telling them how to avoid authorities.
His attorney was scheduled to make closing statements later Wednesday.
This is his second trial. His first trial ended in a mistrial after jurors deadlocked on charges.
Warren belongs to a group that says it tries to prevent immigrants from dying in the desert.