Jury deliberating in trial of BP agent accused of killing Mexica - Tucson News Now

Jury deliberating in trial of BP agent accused of killing Mexican teen

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

Jury deliberations were underway Monday, April 16 in the trial of the Border Patrol agent accused of killing a Mexican teen in a cross-border shooting in 2012.

Lonnie Swartz, who is facing a second-degree murder charge, opened fire from the Arizona side of the border into Nogales, Mexico and killed 16-year-old Jose Antonio Elena Rodriguez.

An autopsy showed Rodriguez, who was unarmed, was hit 10 times, mostly from behind.

Swartz's case is a rare Justice Department prosecution of a fatal cross-border shooting.

The trial began Tuesday, March 20 in U.S. District Court in Tucson.

Border Patrol has said 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.

Swartz pleaded not guilty to the charge in 2015, when he was placed on administrative leave without pay.

Documents filed by prosecutors in 2016 reveal Border Patrol Supervisor Leo Cruz-Mendez said he was surprised to see Swartz at the fence on the night of the shooting. Swartz had been assigned to work at a nearby port of entry.

Cruz-Mendez told the grand jury he told Swartz everything was OK after the shooting, but the agent began to vomit.

According to the documents, Swartz said a police dog was hit by one of the rocks thrown from across the border.

"I shot and there's someone dead in Mexico," he continued, and produced and empty ammunition magazine from his pocket, according to court records.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection has refused to release surveillance camera footage of the incident.

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