06/22/2004

Vigilante to be Retried on Assault Charge

HEBBRONVILLE, Texas -- A member of a vigilante border patrol group who is accused of pistol-whipping an undocumented Salvadoran immigrant will be re-tried July 27. A jury here on June 17 convicted Casey Nethercott of felony gun possession but deadlocked on an assault charge.

Nethercott, a 37-year-old member of Ranch Rescue, could get up to 20 years in prison on the weapons offense.

Nethercott is accused of assaulting Edwin Alfredo Mancia Gonzales, 26, last year while armed Ranch Rescue members were patrolling a ranch near here. Ranch owner Joe Sutton invited the paramilitary group to his property.

Ranch Rescue, Nethercott and Sutton are defendants in a civil lawsuit brought by the Center on behalf of Mancia and a Salvadoran woman who were attacked on the ranch. That case is scheduled for trial later this year.