Border agent’s attorney considering appeal in shooting case

August 8, 2018

FILE - In this Oct. 10, 2014, file photo, a poster in the likeness of Jose Antonio Elena Rodriguez hangs next to a makeshift memorial, where he was fatally shot two years ago by U.S. Border Patrol near the Mexico- U.S border, in Nogales, Mexico. A federal appeals court has ruled that a Border Patrol agent who fatally shot Rodriguez on the other side of the border doesn't have immunity and can be sued by the boy's family. The ruling on Tuesday, Aug. 7, 2018, came almost two years after the agent's attorney argued he was immune from a civil lawsuit because the U.S. constitution didn't extend to the 16 year old Rodriguez. (AP Photo/Valeria Fernandez, File)

PHOENIX (AP) — The attorney for a Border Patrol agent who killed a Mexican teen says he’s considering filing an appeal after a federal appeals court ruled the agent can be sued in civil court.

Attorney Sean Chapman said he is considering filing an appeal for a hearing before a larger panel of 9th U.S. Circuit Court judges, or with the U.S. Supreme Court.

A three-judge panel ruled Tuesday that the family of 16-year-old Jose Antonio Elena Rodriguez can sue agent Lonnie Swartz because the teen was constitutionally protected. A similar case out of Texas has made its way through a different appeals court, which found the Mexican teen in that case wasn’t constitutionally protected.

Swartz was acquitted of second-degree murder this year but faces a retrial and also a civil suit filed on behalf of the boy’s mother.

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