Former Border Patrol agent Matthew Bowen has pleaded down to a misdemeanor charge for allegedly hitting a Guatemalan migrant twice from behind with his government-issued Ford F-150 truck. Bowen, 39, signed a plea agreement on Monday, confirming that his actions “were not justified” and that he hit the 23-year-old man “with an unreasonable amount of force.” With the agreement, Bowen agreed to resign from the Border Patrol, but will avoid a court room. His trial was scheduled to begin with jury selection on Monday.
Leading up to the incident, Bowen sent text messages to colleagues espousing his hatred for migrants. “Mindless murdering savages. PLEASE let us take the gloves off trump!” Bowen, then an Arizona border patrol agent, wrote just two weeks before hitting a migrant. “Disgusting subhuman shit unworthy of being kindling for a fire.” According to court documents, Bowen had long been abusive towards immigrants in his custody. Prosecutors had a strong case prepared, including the text messages and witness testimony from fellow agents, leading to speculation as to why the U.S. attorney offered him a plea.