Smuggling Trial - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

11/27/06 - Texas

Smuggling Trial

(AP) A federal jury in Houston will resume deliberations Tuesday in the retrial of a trucker blamed in the nation's deadliest human smuggling attempt.

Deliberations started Monday in the case involving the May 2003 deaths of 19 illegal immigrants.  They were among about 70 people transported in a closed truck trailer that was abandoned near Victoria.

A prosecutor -- in closing argumetns -- called driver Tyrone Williams a "vile and heartless person."  But an attorney for Williams says the driver had no idea people were suffering and that the air conditioning in the truck trailer was turned on.

Williams is being retried on 58 counts of conspiracy, harboring and transporting illegal immigrants. He faces a possible death sentence if convicted.

A jury last year convicted Williams on 38 transporting counts.

Jurors deadlocked on 20 other counts.

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