Andrew Tahmooressi, who as a U.S. Marine sergeant served two tours in Afghanistan, is growing more despondent after nearly three months of confinement in Mexico on weapons charges, according to family and friends, Fox News reported.
The case has been complicated by Tahmooressi's dissatisfaction with his attorneys. He fired two lawyers over disagreements in how to handle his case, his former Marine comrade, Andrew Bartholomew, said on the Fox News program "On the Record with Greta Van Susteren."
Tahmooressi, who reportedly suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder, wants his ailment to be a keystone of his legal defense. The Marine's mother, Jill Tahmooressi, has been working with Consul General Andrew Erickson in Tijuana to identify a suitable lawyer, Bartholomew said.
"Unfortunately, he is becoming fairly despondent about the issue, but nevertheless, it's inherent in his character – he's holding it together, and he is obviously hopeful for a favorable outcome," Bartholomew said. "So I mean, he knows that on the American side we are doing all we can to raise awareness for him and to raise public support."
Bartholomew described Tahmooressi as someone who could serve as a role model for how to be a fair Marine leader.
A petition campaign on the White House website asking for the administration to intervene politically with Mexican authorities has garnered more than 123,000 signatures, the Los Angeles Times reported.
Tahmooressi 's supporters say he entered Mexico by mistake having made a wrong turn in his truck. Van Susteren said she had driven the route, and she could see how easy it would be for a motorist to slip-up and turn into Mexican territory.
Mexican authorities said that Tahmooressi crossed the border at San Ysidro into Tijuana and that his truck contained three weapons and hundreds of rounds of ammunition. They say that hours before his arrest he had checked in to a Tijuana hotel, the Times reported.
Bartholomew said that in campaigning for Tahmooressi's release it was best not to be overly critical of Mexico "as a sovereign nation." Supporters should ask that Mexican authorities be lenient in handling the case by noting that his imprisonment is keeping him from receiving treatment for PTSD.
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