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National Rifle Association executive Harlan G. Carter was once...

LAREDO, Texas -- National Rifle Association executive Harlan G. Carter was once convicted of killing a Hispanic teen-ager and was sentenced to a three-year jail term, court records showed Tuesday.

Webb County court records showed Carter, then 17, was convicted in the March 13, 1931, murder of Ramon Cassiano, 15.

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Carter was indicted by a grand jury on March 21 and convicted of murder on April 16, 1931, after a three-day trial.

Carter, 67, the executive vice president for the NRA who was re-elected Saturday at the gun group's national convention in Denver, appealed the murder conviction.

The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals overturned the conviction in Dec. 1931, saying the lower court had not given fair hearing to Carter's plea of self-defense.

The late State District Judge J.F. Mullally dismissed the murder charge against Carter on Jan. 19, 1933.

Carter, a former U.S. Border Patrol chief, could not be reached for comment.

According to accounts of the slaying in 1931 editions of the Laredo Times, Carter had returned home from school when his mother told him she had seen three or four teen-agers hanging around a family shed near their house.

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Carter testified during the trial that he left the house with a shotgun and confronted four youths, including Cassiano, as they were returning from a local swimming hole.

Carter, whose father was a U.S. Border Patrol officer, said he tried to force the youths to his house to be interrogated by his mother, but Cassiano drew a knife.

'You think I won't use this?' Carter said, telling the court of his warning to Cassiano. He said he fired the shotgun from point-blank range and hit Cassiano in the shoulder.

Cassiano was pronounced dead at a local hospital.

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