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Supreme Court ruling could affect trial of Border Patrol Agent Lonnie Swartz

Posted: 9:45 PM, Apr 08, 2018
Updated: 2018-04-09 05:15:55Z

A recent Supreme Court ruling involving a U of A Police officer could figure into the murder trial of Border Patrol Agent Lonnie Swartz.

Swartz is charged with second-degree murder for shooting through the border fence and killing a Mexican teen.  People on the Mexican side were throwing rocks over the fence to interfere with agents and Nogales officers trying to arrest drug smugglers trying to climb the fence and escape into Mexico.

Last week Supreme Court ruled a U of A Police Officer had qualified immunity against penalty when he shot a woman who refused orders to drop a knife. The Supreme Court ordered a lower court to reconsider a civil suit on the case.

Today Swartz attorney's filed a list of proposed jury instructions that cites the recent Supreme Court ruling along with many others that argue law enforcement officers can use their judgment and training to use deadly force when they feel they and others are in danger.

The judge in the Swartz case will consider arguments from defense and prosecution to decide the instructions he will give a jury before they consider Swartz's guilt or innocence.