Jailed Marine goes in front of judge to make his case in Tiajuana courtroom

The U.S. Marine who has spent almost two months in a Mexican prison on weapons charges after entering the country through a poorly marked border crossing  got a chance to go before a Mexican judge Wednesday to explain his side of the story of how he ended up on the wrong side of the border with three illegal guns.

Photo: Fox News
Andrew Tahmooressi waves to reporters as he enters a hearing in Tijuana, Mexico.

Andrew Tahmooressi, 25, of South Florida Florida, crossed into Tijuana, Mexico, April 1 while scouting Southern California for housing that would be near the San Diego Veterans Affairs medical facility where he could be treated for post-traumatic stress disorder.

His time in the Mexican jail has marked by physical abuse and threats so bad that at one point he attempted to escape into a safer part of the prison, his mother, Jill Tahmooressi told reporters.

She has followed the case from their home in Weston, Fla., and spoke with Andrew by phone before he was taken from the prison to court Wednesday morning.  She told him to simply tell the truth.

“It’s never difficult to tell the truth,” she told Fox News.

That doesn’t mean she had confidence that the system to the south will be fair to her son.

“I have no confidence in their system,” said Jill Tahmooressi. “Justice will prevail, but not because of the truth from the other side.”

Tahmooressi’s plight has drawn national attention because the veteran of two combat tours in Iraq and was carrying perfectly legal registered weapons when he entered Mexico, where gun laws are much stricter.

(Note to American gun grabbers: Where would you rather live?)

At the border Wednesday morning, that attention was evident as demonstrators turned out on the American side to support Tahmooressi.

“Tension is building,” said Gina Loudon, of the Patriot Coalition of San Diego County, told Fox News. “Many in the U.S. think it is unjust, un-American, for this brave Marine who fought for our freedom to spend Memorial Day in a Mexican prison.

“This American citizen made an honest mistake,” she said. “The border is very confusing, he should be afforded the same courtesy that we have extended to Mexican citizens in similar circumstances. He should be released immediately.”

Fox News has been covering the case from the beginning and provided a background story this morning for those just catching up to it. Note particularly how the border crossing was virtually unmarked.



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