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Tucson, AZ – Jurors have found Border Patrol Agent Lonnie Swartz not guilty on the Second Degree Murder charge of shooting through the border fence and killing 16-year-old Jose Antonio Elena Rodriguez.
Jurors could not come to an agreement on a verdict on the two lesser charges, voluntary manslaughter and involuntary manslaughter.
If they wish, prosecutors can retry Swartz on the lesser charges only.
October 10, 2012, Swartz was on duty at the DeConcini Port of Entry armed only with his gun. Swartz testified that he was protecting himself and other officers from rocks which were being thrown over the border fence by people on the Mexican side. The rocks were being thrown, reportedly, to interfere with the arrest of smugglers.
Swartz fired 16 rounds through the fence, and ten shots hit a 16-year-old Mexican teen.
The article goes on to state the following:
Prosecutors say the threat against Swartz and other officers was not severe enough to justify deadly force and that they could have easily removed any threat by taking cover.
Defense attorney Sean Chapman told the jury rocks are enough of a danger to justify deadly force and that there is no evidence to conclude Swartz fired out of anger over rock attacks.
UPDATE: Friday afternoon jurors in the murder trial of Border Patrol Agent Lonnie Swartz told Federal Judge Raner Collins they could not reach a verdict. https://t.co/qWl8SOvBHp pic.twitter.com/Muta0nO3Uz
— KGUN9 On Your Side (@kgun9) April 20, 2018
— azcentral (@azcentral) April 23, 2018
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