TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) – A U.S. Border Patrol agent has pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder in the fatal shooting of a Mexican teen across the border fence.
Lonnie Swartz entered the plea during his arraignment Friday in federal court in Tucson. He was allowed to remain free pending trial but he must surrender his Border Patrol pistol and not travel outside Arizona and Nevada.
Swartz was charged Sept. 23 and has been placed on administrative leave, nearly three years after he fatally shot 16-year-old Jose Antonio Elena Rodriguez.
Elena Rodriguez was near the fence in Nogales, Sonora, when Swartz shot him from the Arizona side.
The Border Patrol has said Swartz was being attacked by rock-throwers, a potentially deadly situation. Elena Rodriguez’s family denies he was involved.
Copyright 2015 The Associated Press.