The attorney for a Marine sergeant held in a Mexican prison since March on gun charges has asked the serviceman's supporters for patience, saying that the case is a long way from being resolved.
"I would ask people to be patient. There's going to be an outcome," Fernando Benitez told KSWB Monday. "I hope it's an outcome everybody likes, but it's not going to be tomorrow."
Sgt. Andrew Tahmooresi has been held by Mexican authorities since March 31, when he accidentally drove across the U.S.-Mexico border with three legally purchased guns and 400 rounds of ammunition. Tahmooressi, who served two tours in Afghanistan and suffers from PTSD, has claimed to have suffered physical abuse at the hands of jail guards who allegedly stripped him naked and chained him to a bed.
Benitez was hired last week by Tahmooressi's mother, Jill. He is the third defense lawyer to take the Marine's case. The first one was fired on the eve of a May 28 court hearing for allegedly instructing Tahmooressi to tell the judge he had never been to Mexico before, which was not true. The second attorney was dismissed for lack of experience and "not inspiring confidence," according to Jill Tahmooressi.
Benitez told KSWB that he planned to petition the federal court in Tijuana for a new hearing for Tahmooressi. The court is expected to issue a new hearing date by the end of this week.