Two psychiatrists told a Tijuana federal judge Tuesday that an American Marine reservist jailed in Mexico on weapons charges for six months, suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder and needs to get treatment in the U.S., according to his attorney Fernando Benitez.
The lawyer filed a motion earlier this month arguing that the Mexican government does not have the resources to treat Sgt. Andrew Tahmooressi's PTSD. Since the purpose of Mexican sentencing laws is to rehabilitate prisoners, Benitez argues his client’s case should be thrown out and he should go free.
A psychiatrist for the defense and another for the prosecution evaluated Tahmooressi this week at the El Hongo State Penitentiary, apparently coming to the same conclusion that the veteran's PTSD is an issue, according to Benitez’s posts on Twitter.
“We're not at the finish line, but we've made a huge leap forward. I advise patience and composure. This is evidence, not yet a ruling,” said Benitez in a tweet.
NBC 7 spoke with Tahmooressi’s mother Jill about the new findings.
“I truly hope this is indeed a step forward to bringing Andrew home. We can only wait and see,” she said.
Jill is testifying Wednesday at a U.S. Congressional subcommittee hearing on Tahmooressi's case. TV personality and retired officer Montel Williams will also give testimony on the jailed Marine's behalf.
Tahmooressi, a Florida veteran who served two tours in Afghanistan, was in San Diego in March to receive treatment for his PTSD.
His family says on April 1, he took a wrong turn into the San Ysidro Port of Entry and was arrested for having three firearms in his truck. However, Mexican police officials claim Tahmooressi made the same crossing three previous times and would not have gotten lost.
He now faces weapons charges for the U.S.-registered guns.