Lawyers For Border Patrol Agent Facing Retrial Want New Venue

Published: Thursday, August 23, 2018 - 3:13pm
Updated: Friday, August 24, 2018 - 9:14am
Michel Marizco
Taide Elena holds a photo of her grandson Jose Antonio Elena Rodriguez during a march in Nogales, Sonora in 2012. The teen was killed by Border Patrol agent Lonnie Swartz in 2012, after, defense attorneys say, he threw rocks at the agent and local police

A Border Patrol agent who shot and killed a teenage boy standing on the other side of the border in Mexico is arguing to change the venue of his upcoming manslaughter trial from Tucson to Phoenix.

Lawyers for Lonnie Swartz argued in court Wednesday that the agent won’t get a fair trial in Tucson. They pointed to news articles they say are sympathetic to the dead teen and said the examples "conclusively demonstrate that the jury pool in Southern Arizona is getting increasingly poisoned by many influence makers ... "

The attorneys said the only desirable outcome to those influence makers would be Swartz’s conviction, and that coverage is less intense in Phoenix.

RELATED: U.S. Border Patrol Agent Lonnie Swartz Acquitted Of Second-Degree Murder

Swartz was originally charged with second-degree murder after killing Jose Antonio Elena Rodriguez in 2012. He was found not guilty on that charge and the jury deadlocked on a lesser charge, so prosecutors are retrying him on manslaughter charges.

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