Border Patrolman Free|Pending Murder Trial

     TUCSON (CN) – A Border Patrol agent accused of murdering a Mexican teenager pleaded not guilty at his arraignment Friday and is free pending a November trial.
     Federal prosecutors say Lonnie Swartz shot Jose Antonio Elena Rodriguez in 2012 through a border fence as the 16-year-old boy was walking home along west Calle Internacional, a street in Nogales, Sonora, parallel to the border.
     A federal grand jury indicted Swartz for second-degree murder in September, accusing him of shooting Rodriguez with “ malice aforethought .” Swartz was arraigned on Friday before a magistrate judge in Tucson.
     Swartz has also been sued civilly. Rodriguez’s mother sued him in 2014 and later forced the Border Patrol to reveal Swartz’s identity .
     Araceli Rodriguez says in her lawsuit that Jose Antonio was not trying to hide and did not pose a threat to the agents on the other side of the fence during an alleged rock-throwing incident.
     “He was doing nothing but peacefully walking down the street by himself when he was gunned down,” the civil lawsuit states. “He was not committing a crime, nor was he throwing rocks, using a weapon, or in any way threatening U.S. Border Patrol agents or anyone else.”
     According to his conditions of release , Swartz must give up his guns and cannot travel outside of Nevada except to meet with his lawyer and attend his trial, which is to begin Nov. 17 before U.S. District Judge Raner Collins in Tucson.
     After the indictment, the National Border Patrol Council promised to defend Swartz.
     “He will be well represented and given every opportunity to tell his story in a court of law,” the union said in a statement.
     “Sadly, our agents and all law enforcement officers operate in a world of political agendas and armchair quarterbacking.”
     Tucson attorney Sean Chapman is representing Swartz.

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