New lawyer: Marine won’t get out of Mexican jail soon

TIJUANA, Mexico — Fernando Benitez, Andrew Tahmooressi’s new lawyer, asked people to be patient as he awaits a court hearing to be set in Tijuana.

Benitez was hired last week and has begun preparing the case, which is laid out in hundreds and hundreds of legal documents.
fernando Benitez new shotTahmooressi crossed into Mexico with three weapons and 400 rounds of ammo on March 31. Guns and ammunition are illegal in Mexico. He was arrested and has been in prison ever since.

Benitez is Tahmooressi’s third defense lawyer. The first one was fired on the eve of the Marine’s court hearing on May 28. The second lawyer was also dismissed for not having enough experience and for “not inspiring confidence” in the Tahmooressi family.

Benitez is a well-respected lawyer with 20 years of experience. A few years ago, he successfully represented former Tijuana Mayor Jorge Hank Rhon, who faced gun possession charges.

Late Monday afternoon, Tahmooressi’s new lawyer planned to petition the federal court in Tijuana for a new court hearing for his client.

“I would ask people to be patient, there’s going to be an outcome, I hope it’s an outcome everybody likes, but it’s not going to be tomorrow,” said Benitez.

Tijuana’s Federal Court is expected to issue a hearing date for Tahmooressi by the end of the week.