TUCSON, AZ – A lawsuit against US border police was annulled on Monday after an Arizona jury acquitted him of murdering a youth from Mexico over a second-chance murder.
The decision of US District Judge Raner Collins means that prosecutors could try another lawsuit against Agent Lonnie Swartz for manslaughter in 2012 against Jose Antonio Elena Rodriguez, who was fatally beaten when he stoned the drug during a drug smuggling Authorities threw. The prosecutors state that they are planning a retrial.
The jury had discussed for over 18 hours in five days what human rights lawyers say was the first prosecution of a border policeman in a deadly shooting across the border.
Swartz fired 1
Prosecutors confirmed during the one-month trial that Elena Rodriguez was across the border during a drug smuggling attempt, but they say he does not deserve to die. Defense lawyers countered that Swartz was entitled to deadly force against rock-throwers and shot from the US side of the border in self-defense. Defense lawyers Sean Chapman and Jim Calle did not immediately return a phone call on Monday afternoon asking for a comment.
Art Del Cueto, head of the Tucson union for border guards, said, "I believe justice was served properly, the jury took their time, and we are quite happy with it."
Prosecutor Elizabeth Strange said her office respects the decision of the jury. "I am proud of the work of our office to present this difficult case to the jury," Strange said.
The Border Patrol was scrutinized during the Obama administration for allegations of excessive use of force. The Customs and Border Guard, the parent company, reported 55 incidents in which employees used firearms from 1 October 2011 to 30 September 2012. The number of incidents dropped to 17 years five years later. In the shooting of Elena Rodriguez in Nogales, Mexico, he was initially charged with second – degree murder
Collins told the jury in his instructions that they might consider lesser charges of involuntary or involuntary manslaughter
During the closing argument, Deputy US Attorney Wallace Heath Kleindienst said Swartz was "tired of being shaken," after at least six others Targeted attacks.
"He was angry at these people" We throw stones at the fence, "Kleindienst said.
" It was not about eliminating a threat, because there was no threat, "he said was about eliminating a human being. "
Defense Defender Sean Chapman argued that" there was not a mass of evidence "that Swartz was angry or full.
He said Swartz was shooting because he wanted to protect himself
"Since his first day in the border patrol, it was rooted in him that rocks were dangerous," said Chapman.
The trial took place when President Donald Trump National called for Guard troops sent to the Mexican border to liberate border guards and focus on preventing drugs and people from entering the US illegally.
Trump has fought violently against illegal immigration and built a wall on the Mexico-Mexico Border Built Cornerstone of Its Presidency
The assassination of Elena Rodriguez was felt deeply in the twin communities of Nogales, where about 20,000 people live on the side of Arizona and about 300,000 live in Mexico. The communities are linked by family members, trade and culture and have long been locally referred to as "Ambos Nogales" – "Nogales" in Spanish.
During the trial, the jury visited the border area during the night to get a better idea of what Swartz had in front of him.
The agent, who was in administrative leave until the trial ended, testified that he had little recollection of what had happened.
The Border Patrol has not said if he will receive his salary] A parallel civil lawsuit filed by the teenage teenager's mother against Swartz seeking damages is pending before the 9th US District Court of Appeals in San Francisco.