Judge: Arizona cross-border shooting case stays in federal court

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By Howard Fischer

A federal judge has rejected claims by a Border Patrol agent that he can’t be tried on murder charges in his court.

U.S. District Judge Raner Collins said the evidence shows that Lonnie Swartz was standing within a 60-foot zone adjacent to the international border when he shot 16-year-old Jose Antonio Elena Rodriguez, who was in Mexico.

Collins said he reads the law to say that zone is part of what he is known as the “Roosevelt Reservation,” an area first claimed by the federal government in 1897. And that, the judge said, means that Swartz, who now is on administrative leave, was standing on federal property when he fired the shot across the border that killed Rodriguez.

 The ruling, unless overturned, clears the way for the criminal case against Swartz to proceed.

Read the full story here.

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