Murder case against Border Patrol agent to move forward - Tucson News Now

Murder case against Border Patrol agent to move forward

Lonnie Ray Swartz. (Source: Maggie Keane) Lonnie Ray Swartz. (Source: Maggie Keane)
Jose Antonio Elena Rodriguez Jose Antonio Elena Rodriguez
TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

The murder case against the Border Patrol agent accused of killing a Mexican teen in a cross-border shooting in 2012 will move forward after a federal judge denied a motion to dismiss.

Judge Ranner Collins issued the ruling last week, denying a claim by an attorney for Agent Lonnie Swartz that the federal government didn't have jurisdiction over the case.

READ MORE: Agent accused of killing Mexican teen pleads not guilty

Swartz was indicted on a second-degree murder charge in the death of 16-year-old Jose Antonio Elena Rodriguez, who was hit 10 times by gunfire. Swartz pleaded not guilty to the charge in October 2015.

Border Patrol has said that Elena Rodriguez was among a group of rock throwers endangering agents' lives. His family claims the boy was walking home from a basketball game with friends and was not armed or hurling rocks.

Collins also agreed to suppress answers Swartz gave to a superior the day he fatally shot Elena Rodriguez, saying Swartz was led to believe the answers couldn't be used to incriminate him. The questions standard under the agency's use of force policy.

The ACLU is helping representing Elena Rodriguez' family in a civil lawsuit against Swartz.

The ACLU said this court case is unique in that it's the first time in U.S. history that a Border Patrol agent has been charged in a cross-border shooting.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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