Prosecutor May Subpoena News Photographer
TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) _ A newspaper photographer may be subpoenaed to testify about his pictures of a Central American crossing the U.S.-Mexican border to bolster the government’s case against 11 people accused of harboring illegal aliens, a prosecutor says.
Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Donald M. Reno said Friday he wanted to use the pictures in the sanctuary trial, which enters its sixth week Monday. U.S. District Judge Earl Carroll indicated the pictures could not be admitted unless the photographer was subpoenaed to testify about the circumstances.
Reno said he was debating whether to seek a subpoena. U.S. Attorney Stephen M. McNamee later said approval would be needed from Justice Department officials in Washington before a subpoena could be issued.
Reno said the two pictures showed defendant James A. Corbett of Tucson helping a woman cross the border. The photos by Arizona Daily Star photographer Ronald Medvescek were published in August 1984.
Star assistant executive editor Steve Auslander declined comment Friday on the possibility of a subpoena, saying, ″I can’t respond to something I haven’t received.″
Corbett’s attorney, Stephen Cooper, contended it was too late to subpoena additional witnesses
Reno said the chief government witness, federal informant Jesus Cruz, would testify that defendant Maria del Socorro Pardo de Aguilar told him that Corbett was helping the woman cross the border.
The defendants claim the Salvadorans and Guatemalans they aided were refugees fleeing political oppression, but the prosecution contends they were merely seeking better jobs.
The question about the photos was raised during a hearing in which Reno sought permission to use as evidence information gathered by Cruz that the defense claimed was hearsay and thus not proper for use as evidence.
The information in question involved a number of statements made to Cruz by other people, including alleged but unindicted co-conspirators, about which Cruz did not have first-hand knowledge.
Carroll ruled that some of the statements could be used in the trial, while others were ruled out, and Reno withdrew his request to use others. Other questions were left unresolved, and Carroll said he would study them further.
The other defendants are the Rev. John M. Fife III, 45, Tucson; the Rev. Anthony Clark, 37, Nogales, Ariz.; the Rev. Ramon Dagoberto Quinones, 49, Nogales, Mexico; Sister Darlene Nicgorski, 41, Phoenix; Philip Willis-Conger, 27, Tucson; Mary K. Doan Espinoza, 30, Nogales, Ariz.; Peggy Hutchison, 30, Tucson; Wendy LeWin, 26, Phoenix, and Nena MacDonald, 38, Lubbock, Texas.