Judge mulling use of border agent's post-shooting statements

Posted at 1:32 PM, Aug 24, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-24 16:32:13-04

A judge is considering whether to allow trial use of statements made by a Border Patrol agent charged with murder in the 2012 fatal shooting of a Mexican teen on the Mexican side of the border fence in Nogales.

U.S. District Judge Raner C. Collins did not rule during a hearing Tuesday on a defense motion to suppress agent Lonnie Swartz's statements after the killing of 16-year-old Jose Antonio Elena Rodriguez.

Prosecutors contend Swartz's initial statements and his responses to questions from a supervisor should be admissible.

Swartz's attorneys say the agent was compelled to answer the questions to avoid disciplinary sanction that included the possibility of being fired.

According to documents filed by prosecutors, Swartz said he fired after people threw rocks and that a police dog was struck.