Defense: U.S. Prosecutors In Border Agent Murder Trial Used Fabricated Evidence

September 13, 2017

In a request to the federal judge filed last Monday, the attorney for Border Patrol agent Lonnie Swartz asked that the U.S. Attorney’s Office for Arizona be sanctioned and removed as the prosecutor in the upcoming second-degree murder trial.

Swartz will face trial next month after he shot and killed Jose Antonio Elena Rodriguez, the teenage boy who, both sides now agree, was one of several people throwing rocks at the agent and other law enforcement trying to stop a drug smuggler from escaping back into Mexico.

An autopsy found that the boy was shot more than a dozen times. The defense argues that the first shot killed him however, rendering the remaining gunshots legally irrelevant. The defense also argues that autopsy evidence was fabricated to make it appear the boy was still alive after the first shot.

The trial begins Oct. 24.