A deadlocked jury produced a mistrial in U.S. District Court on Monday in the case of a U.S. Customs inspector accused of punching a handcuffed illegal alien.
The jury split 10-1, with most favoring conviction, in the trial of William Grimes, 41, a 12-year Customs employee. Grimes was charged with violating the civil rights of Jamie Gonzalez last October. One juror was excused from the case Friday to begin a scheduled vacation.
U.S. Atty. Peter K. Nunez said he would seek another trial for Grimes and said the case was one of a handful of civil rights cases each year that involve immigration and border officials.
Two Customs inspectors and an Immigration and Naturalization Service agent testified at the trial that Grimes punched Gonzalez in the chest after the illegal alien had been detained for walking across the border at San Ysidro. INS agents were leading Gonzalez into a federal building when, officials testified, Grimes swore at him and struck him without provocation.