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Border Patrol agent’s retrial will not be moved to Phoenix, judge rules

FILE - In this March 21, 2018, file photo, Border Patrol agent Lonnie Swartz, left, makes his way to the U.S. District Court building in downtown Tucson, Ariz. (Ron Medvescek/Arizona Daily Star via AP, File)

TUCSON, Ariz. — A U.S. District Judge has rejected a lawyer’s request to move a Border Patrol agent’s manslaughter retrial from Tucson to Phoenix.

Agent Lonnie Swartz’s lawyer, Jim Calle, argued on Monday that the new coverage of Swartz’ first trial had tainted the jury pool in southern Arizona to such a degree that his October retrial should be moved to Phoenix.

The Arizona Daily Star reports Chief Judge Raner C. Collins denied Calle’s motion, saying it was “just a tad premature.”

Collins says he is willing to reconsider if jury questionnaires showed widespread prejudice against Swartz.

Swartz is accused of fatally shooting 16-year-old Jose Antonio Elena Rodriguez in 2012 through the border fence in Nogales.

Border Patrol has said the teen was a part of a group throwing rocks across the border.

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