US Border Patrol agent pleads not guilty in shooting of teen

US Border Patrol agent pleads not guilty in shooting of teen

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.

About The Author

Eduardo Santiago joined the FOX 9 and ABC 5 news team in February, 2012. That’s the same year KECY launched its very first local newscast. He has been covering local news in Yuma and the Imperial Valley since his start as a KYMA photojournalist in 2006. During his decade in broadcasting, Eduardo has covered some of the biggest stories in the Desert Southwest – from President Bush’s visit to Yuma, Ariz. to the uncovering of drug tunnels that span the US-Mexico border. One of the most memorable stories Eduardo covered was the 2010 Easter Earthquake that rocked the Imperial Valley, Mexicali, and Yuma. Eduardo, along with his news team, won an award from the Associated Press for best coverage of an ongoing story following the quake. Before he made his move to TV, Eduardo was just a kid born in East Los Angeles, where he spent his early childhood. His parents moved him to Mexicali, B.C. Mexico, where he did most of his elementary school education. He finally landed in El Centro, where he graduated from Central Union High School in 2005. Eduardo is currently a student at Imperial Valley College. You can find Eduardo hanging out in the Imperial Valley and Yuma with his family on any given weekend. His off-screen passion is playing guitar and sports.

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