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Highland teenager shot dead in the United States was facing drugs charge

By Louise Glen

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Ben Mackie, pictured in online bail details.
Ben Mackie, pictured in online bail details.

An Inverness-born teenager shot dead in Texas was out on bail for possessing drugs.

Ben David Mackie was facing a trial for carrying an illegal weapon and possession of drugs.

The 19-year-old was shot at a house in Lake Jackson, Texas, in the early hours of last Friday morning and died of his injuries in hospital later that day.

Ben had moved to the USA from Inverness with his mum and dad, Cindy and Colin, a recruitment specialist, 11 years ago.

A grand jury is due to hear details of his death.

Lake Jackson chief of police Paul Kibodeaux said Ben was shot at his home.

He confirmed he was out on $70,000 bail when the shooting happened

Early reports said Ben was shot after a break-in at his home, but Mr Kibodeaux said there was no suggestion that anyone had entered the property uninvited.

He said: “The investigation is quickly progressing and should be concluded in the very near future with a presentation of facts of the case to the grand jury.”

In American court proceedings a grand jury, of 23 citizens, is used to accuse people who may be guilty of a crime prior to a suspect being charged.

If the suspect is indicted, a full court case and trial will then take place.

Mr Kibodeaux continued: “So as not to taint or influence any witness testimony in the case, we are withholding detailed information in the case until it is prudent.

“This incident did not involve a home invasion. Everyone present at the time of the incident either lived at the residence, or was invited.”

Ben was bailed from a Texan prison on a $70,000 bail bond on July 1, 2019, after spending almost six weeks in a correctional facility.

The news of his death has stunned the many friends and family of the Mackies who still live in the Highland capital.

One friend, who did not want to be named, said: “This is agony for everyone. No-one can believe what has happened. Our love goes out to Colin and Cindy and their family here in Inverness.”

Related articles: Inverness teenager shot and killed in America

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