A jury that convicted a former Mexican policeman in the 1985 kidnap and torture murder of a U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration agent returned to deliberate on the guilt or innocence of two co-defendants.
The panel convicted Raul Lopez Alvarez on Thursday. Lopez was videotaped telling an undercover officer about events surrounding the brutal murder of DEA agent Enrique Camarena, whose battered body was found with that of his pilot at a ranch outside Guadalajara on March 5, 1985.On the video tape, the former Mexican lawman described the slaying of Camarena as a mistake by drug baron Rafael Caro Quintero, adding, "The idea wasn't to kill him."
After a single day's deliberation, the jury found Lopez, 28, guilty of kidnap, murder, conspiracy and related crimes in the killing of Camarena and pilot Alfredo Zavala Avelar.
Jurors announced their first verdict Thursday morning, then resumed deliberating for a full day. They recessed without deciding the cases of two co-defendants, Rene Verdugo Urquidez, 36, a confessed drug trafficker, and Jesus Felix Guttierez, charged as an accessory.
The government alleges that Guttierez helped the drug baron escape from Mexico after Caro allegedly masterminded Camarena's murder as revenge for DEA raids on the drug baron's multimillion dollar marijuana operations in Mexico.