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BP Agent's murder trial to stay in Federal Court

Posted at 11:32 AM, Mar 27, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-27 14:32:37-04

(TUCSON) - A Border Patrol Agent’s murder trial will stay in Federal Court.  Agent Lonnie Swartz is charged with firing through the border fence and killing 16-year old Jose Antonio Elena Rodriguez in Mexico.

The agent’s defense attorney argued the case belongs in state court, but Federal Judge Raner Collins ruled Swartz was standing in Federal territory at the time of the shooting.

Judge Collins did hand the defense one victory in his latest round of rulings.  He is forbidding prosecutors from using Agent Swartz statements right after the shooting.  The judge ruled that because Border Patrol rules on use of deadly force required Swartz to answer questions from supervisors his statements were involuntary and can not be used as evidence against him.

The agent's attorney recentlyasked Judge Collins to exclude video from Border Patrol surveillance cameras.  A decision on that is still pending.

The shooting was in 2012. The trial has been pushed back to this June.