BP Agent in cross-border murder case was forced out of Army

Attorney trying to keep Army record out of trial

TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - A Border Patrol Agent charged with murdering a Mexican teen was forced out of the Army for being absent without leave.

Now the attorney for Agent Lonnie Swartz is trying to exclude Swartz's discharge in lieu of court-martial from evidence in the murder trial.

Swartz's attorney filed court papers yesterday urging the judge in the case to exclude the Agent's military record and exclude details of his Border Patrol personnel records. He says they’re not relevant to the murder trial.
       
Swartz is charged with murder for firing through the border fence into Mexico and killing 16-year-old Jose Antonio Elena Rodriguez.
     
At the time, people on the Mexican side were throwing rocks at agents and police trying to stop smugglers from moving drugs into Nogales, Arizona. 
       
No one is disputing that Swartz's shots killed Rodriguez.
       
Prosecutors concede the teen was helping the drug smugglers.  The murder trial hinges on whether it was justified for Agent Swartz to shoot at the teen.
 

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