Border Agent's Murder Trial Set for October

May 08, 2017

A federal judge has set a date for early October for the jury trial of a former Border Patrol agent accused of shooting a boy across the border in Mexico.

Lawyers for indicted Border Patrol Agent Lonnie Swartz have tried arguing that the U.S. government had no jurisdiction to prosecute the case because the teenage victim was in Mexico when he was shot and killed.

Prosecutors have argued that Swartz fired from what’s known as the Roosevelt Reservation, a federal strip of land at which the border begins.

On an October 2012 night, Jose Antonio Elena Rodriguez was walking along the border road in Nogales, Mexico. Border Patrol agents including Swartz had been attacked by rocks at the border. Mexican police fielded this call from the Border Patrol that frantic night.

Mexican 911 dispatcher: "Buenas noches."

Border Patrol agent: "Buenas noches, habla Border Patrol. Look I'm calling to report that there's been shots fired along the international line in the Whiskey Number Three and it appears there is one injured on the Mexican side."

Another call was made that night, this one from a man asking Mexican police to respond urgently and saying that the Border Patrol was firing into Mexico.

Man to Mexican 911 dispatcher: "They're shooting with a firearm. It seems to be a Border agent ... urgent, urgent."

The boy was hit at least seven times.

Swartz told a responding agent, "I shot and there’s someone dead in Mexico."