TUCSON, Ariz.- LAWFUEL – The Law News network – Surrounded by family, friends and colleagues, Assistant U.S. Attorney Serra Tsethlikai and former Assistant U.S. Attorney Sean Chapman were honored here today in a ceremony at the Tucson Federal Courthouse where they were named the 2004 National Prosecutors of the Year by the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association. They received this prestigious national award for their outstanding pursuit of justice in the case involving the shooting death of National Park Service Ranger Kris Eggle in August 2002. Chapman and Tsethlikai worked tirelessly for more than two years on the case and on December 13, 2004, Dionicio Ramírez-López was sentenced in U.S. District Court to 15 1/2 years in federal prison for charges relating to Eggle’s murder.
U.S. Attorney Paul K. Charlton said of the awards, “This office has many talented and
dedicated prosecutors but the persistence of Serra Tsethlikai and Sean Chapman, working with the National Park Service, the FBI and Border Patrol, in seeing that justice was served in this case is outstanding and they deserve this extra recognition for a job well done. The Eggle family is especially grateful for all their hard work.”
Ramírez-López and his partner, Panfilo Murillo-Aguilar, were involved in a crime spree
in the border town of Sonoyta, Sonora, Mexico in 2002, and fled from Mexican police across the border into the U.S. near Lukeville, Ariz. U.S. Border Patrol Agents and National Park Service Ranger Eggle responded to the incident and apprehended Ramírez-López while he fled from their vehicle which had become stuck. Eggle, working with a Border Patrol Helicopter, was approaching Murillo-Aguilar when Murillo-Aguilar fired an AK-47 rifle striking Eggle and fatally wounding him.
Murillo-Aguilar then fled toward the border and was shot by Mexican police who were standing on the Mexican side of the fence. Murillo-Aguilar was pronounced dead at the scene by paramedics.
Ramírez-López was sentenced after he pleaded guilty to Aiding and Abetting, Discharge of a Firearm During and in Relation to a Crime of Violence, Aggravated Assault and Interstate Transportation of a Stolen Motor Vehicle.
With 24,000 members, the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association is the largest
professional association in the nation exclusively representing federal law enforcement officers. They honor a prosecutor or prosecutors on one case each year nationwide.