San Antonio driver could face death penalty over death of 10 migrants
James Matthew Bradley Jr, 60, faces charges of illegally transporting migrants for financial gain after authorities discovered eight bodies in a tractor-trailer
The driver of a tractor-trailer found packed with migrants outside a Walmart in San Antonio has been charged in the deaths of 10 of his passengers and could face the death penalty over the hellish journey.
In outlining their immigrant-smuggling case against James Matthew Bradley Jr., 60, federal prosecutors depicted the trailer as pitch-black, crammed with around 90 people or more by some estimates, and so suffocatingly hot that one passenger said they took turns breathing through a hole and pounding on the walls to get the drivers attention.
Bradley appeared in federal court on charges of illegally transporting immigrants for financial gain, resulting in death. The Clearwater, Florida, man did not enter a plea or say anything in court about what happened. He was assigned a public defender and ordered held for another hearing on Thursday.
Authorities discovered eight bodies inside the 18-wheeler parked in the summer heat. Two more people died in the hospital. Officials feared the death toll could rise because nearly 20 others rescued from the truck were in dire condition, many suffering from extreme dehydration and heatstroke.
Were looking at a human-trafficking crime, San Antonio police chief William McManus said on Sunday, calling it a horrific tragedy.