The attorney for a U.S. Marine jailed in Mexico is switching strategies in hopes that his client will be released in matter of weeks.
Defense lawyer Fernando Benitez filed a motion this week that he says could help free Sgt. Andrew Tahmooressi from a Baja jail.
Tahmooressi, a Florida resident, has been in Mexican custody since April, when he crossed the San Ysidro Port of Entry with three U.S.-registered guns in his vehicle.
Benitez claims under Mexican sentencing laws, prisoners are placed in custody in order to receive rehabilitation to become productive members of society when they are released.
However, according to Benitez, the Mexican government cannot rehabilitate Tahmooressi because they do not have the means to provide treatment for his post-traumatic stress disorder.
The attorney hopes the judge will agree and throw out the case.
As a backup, Benitez filed a motion with a higher court to see if it will take Tahmooressi’s case up.
The strategy is the latest in a number of attempts to free Tahmooressi, who faces weapons charges from his spring border crossing.
His family says on April 1, Tahmooressi accidentally made a wrong turn into Mexico while three firearms sat in his truck: a 12-gauge loaded shotgun, a 5.56-caliber loaded rifle and a .45-caliber loaded pistol.
Mexican officials claim the Marine knew the crossing well, citing information from U.S. authorities that shows he entered the San Ysidro Port on three prior occasions.
On Tuesday, the Mexican court reviewed surveillance footage taken during Tahmooressi’s detainment at the border.
The defense wants to prove that Tahmooressi was not given an interpreter or legal representation while in custody for the eight hours before he was presented to a Mexican federal prosecutor.
Benitez alleges the evidence will show how the suspect’s rights were violated by the customs agents who arrested him.