Trial for Tucson man accused of giving food and temporary shelter to a pair of Central American migrants ends in a hung jury.
A 36-year-old geography teacher, Scott Warren, was charged with harboring and transporting undocumented immigrants, a crime punishable by up to twenty years in Federal prison. His trial, held in U.S. District Court in Tucson, was covered by news outlets world-wide. United Nations human rights experts pressured American authorities to drop the charges. Petitions circulated online to calling for his release.
Warren, a long time humanitarian volunteer, offered food and temporary shelter to a pair migrants taking break from the Arizona desert in early 2018. He was arrested hours after the organization he volunteers for released a now viral video of Border Patrol Agents destroying jugs of water left for migrants.
Federal Prosecutors, stunned at their loss, declined to comment Tuesday after the widely publicized trial ended in a hung jury.
The jury debated for two days and was unable to determine whether Scott Warren committed a crime by providing two men with food, water and shelter. Eight jurors voted not guilty on all three charges and four voted guilty.
Since his arrest, Warren said, “at least 88 bodies were recovered from the Ajo corridor of the Arizona desert.” The government’s response, he added, amounted to “policies to target undocumented people, refugees and their families, prosecutions to criminalize humanitarian aid, kindness and solidarity.”
It wasn’t immediately clear if United States Justice Department intends to pursue the charges again at a later date.