Jailed Marine addresses court for the first time
Andrew Tahmooressi’s hearing started at 11:30am Wednesday morning and it ended just around 9pm. A fast-moving convoy of police vehicles, with their sirens blaring and lights flashing, is how 25-year-old former Marine infantry Sergeant Tahmooressi arrives at a Tijuana court. Heavily armed officers can be seen near his vehicle from which he is whisked away, and we mean quickly. Once inside the court, the Afghan War veteran tells a Mexican judge his side of the story as far as what happened that night – his first chance to do so in 100 days. He tells that Mexican judge he makes a wrong turn at the San Ysidro Border on March 31st and accidentally enters Mexico. When he tells Mexican authorities he has guns in his truck, he is arrested for being in violation of Mexico’s gun laws.
Mexican prosecutors say they find three loaded weapons in Tahmooressi’s vehicle – all within reach – including an AR-15 assault rifle, a 12-gauge shotgun, a .45 caliber handgun and 400 rounds of ammunition. While Tahmooressi purchased the weapons legally in the United States, Mexican police say he has broken their country’s laws simply by being in possession of them while being on Mexican soil. His mother had this to say about her son’s attorney as she entered the court:
“I’m confident in Mr. Bonitas and his ability to defend Andrew appropriately,” stated Jill Tahmooressi.
Over nine hours later, Tahmooressi’s mother and her son’s legal team reemerge from the court with news that while he till remain jailed, the future looks bright.
“I was not able to sit in the hearing, so – as you know – it’s been a grueling nine hours. However, the honorable judge did allow me 20 minutes after the hearing, which is unusual. I’ve just left Andrew right now, so I was able to talk with him for 20 minutes. He’s strong, he’s confident. We’re optimistic about the future.”
Tahmooressi’s attorney says there are 11 pages missing from reports detailing his arrest.