Prosecutors won't try Border Patrol agent Lonnie Swartz again

Posted at 2:41 PM, Dec 06, 2018
and last updated 2018-12-07 00:01:30-05

PHOENIX (AP) - Federal prosecutors won't pursue another trial for Border Patrol agent in Arizona who fatally shot Mexican teenager.

In November, Agent Lonnie Swartz was found not guilty of involuntary manslaughter for the death of 16-year-old Jose Antonio Elena Rodriguez.

Despite this decision. The jury did not rule on the stiffer charge of voluntary manslaughter.

This was Swartz's second trial. In April a jury found him not guilty of second degree murder but could not agree on a voluntary manslaughter charge

That hung jury allowed prosecutors to put Swartz on trial again.

Swartz said when he fired sixteen times through the border fence, and killed 16 year old Jose Antonio Elena Rodriguez he was protecting himself and other officers from rocks thrown over the border fence by people on the Mexican side.

They were trying to interfere with agents trying arrest smugglers who were trying to climb over the fence and into Mexico.

Prosecutors say the threat against Swartz and other officers was not severe enough to justify deadly force and that they could have easily removed any threat by taking cover.

But defense attorneys argued rocks are enough of a danger to justify deadly force.