Mom: Jailed Marine in Mexico suffering greatly

Before you go, we thought you'd like these...


13 PHOTOS
Marine mother suffering
See Gallery
Mom: Jailed Marine in Mexico suffering greatly
This image taken from a video shows Marine Sgt. Andrew Tahmooressi waving after arriving in Miami on Saturday, Nov. 1, 2014 in Weston, Fla. Tahmooressi is back home after a Mexican judge ordered his release from jail, where he spent eight months for crossing the border with loaded guns. Family spokesman Jon Franks told reporters that Tahmooressi arrived at a South Florida airport about 6 a.m. Saturday. Franks said Tahmooressi was resting with his family at their home suburban Weston, Fla. (AP Photo/Raul Torres) MANDATORY CREDIT
A photo of Marine Sgt. Andrew Tahmooressi of Weston, who was arrested in Mexico more than four months ago after he crossed the border in possession of guns and ammunition, in the home of his mother, Jill Tahmooressi, in Weston, Fla., on August 7, 2014. (Carline Jean/Sun Sentinel/MCT via Getty Images)
Jill Tahmooressi, mother of Marine Sgt. Andrew Tahmooressi, who was arrested in Mexico more than four months ago after he crossed the border in possession of guns and ammunition, at her Weston, Fla., home on August 7, 2014. (Carline Jean/Sun Sentinel/MCT via Getty Images)
Jill Tahmooressi, mother of Marine Sgt. Andrew Tahmooressi of Weston, Fla., who has been held for six months in a Mexican jail, weeps after reading his letters from confinement and as others recount his heroism in Afghanistan, during a House Foreign Affairs subcommittee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Oct. 1, 2014. Sgt. Tahmooressi, who suffers from post traumatic stress syndrome, claims he made an accidental wrong turn March 31 into a border-crossing point in Tijuana when he was arrested because he had guns in his vehicle. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
Mexican marines participate in a joint patrol with army, ministerial policemen and relatives of young that went missing during the last weekend clashes in Iguala, Guerrero state, Mexico on October 1, 2014. The fate of 43 missing Mexican students remains a mystery days after they vanished amid a police shooting: A survivor saw dozens bundled into patrol cars but authorities say they may be hiding. The teachers-in-training disappeared after a weekend of violence that left six people dead and 25 wounded in Iguala, a town surrounded by thick forests in the crime-plagued southern state of Guerrero. AFP PHOTO/ Yuri CORTEZ (Photo credit should read YURI CORTEZ/AFP/Getty Images)
Television personality Montel Williams, a veterans advocate and a retired Navy officer, appears before a House Foreign Affairs subcommittee in support of Marine Sgt. Andrew Tahmooressi who has been held for six months in a Mexican jail after he made an accidental turn into a border-crossing point at Tijuana where he was arrested because he had guns in his vehicle, during a hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Oct. 1, 2014. Sgt. Tahmooressi, now a Marine reservist who served in Afghanistan, has been diagnosed with post traumatic stress disorder. Williams, who served in the Marines and the Navy, told lawmakers that he would tell his own son not to serve in the military now because veterans with PTSD and brain injuries feel abandoned, and "because our government doesn't respect you enough." (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
Jill Tahmooressi, mother of Marine Sgt. Andrew Tahmooressi of Weston, Fla., who has been held for six months in a Mexican jail, reads his letters from confinement, during a House Foreign Affairs subcommittee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Oct. 1, 2014. Tahmooressi, who suffers from post traumatic stress syndrome, claims he made an accidental wrong turn March 31 into a border-crossing point in Tijuana when he was arrested because he had guns in his vehicle. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
From left, House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Rep. Ed Royce, R-Calif., Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., Jill Tahmooressi of Weston, Fla., mother of Marine Sgt. Andrew Tahmooressi, Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Fla., and Montel B. Williams, TV personality and veterans advocate, gather on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Oct. 1, 2014, before the committee's hearing. The panel is hearing from Jill Tahmooressi about her son, a veteran of the war in Afghanistan suffering from PTSD, who has been held since March 31 in a Mexican jail after he made an accidental turn into a border-crossing point at Tijuana where he was arrested because he had guns in his vehicle. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
Jill Tahmooressi stands outside the Mexican Consulate in Miami, Monday, May 5, 2014, protesting the arrest of her son in Mexico. Andrew Tahmooressi, a Marine veteran who was arrested and jailed in Mexico on weapons charges for allegedly bringing guns across the border, says he never intended to leave the country but missed an exit when heading to meet friends in a border town. He told the newspaper that Mexican authorities found three guns inside the truck he had recently driven across the country to make a new start in San Diego. (AP Photo/J Pat Carter)
Paul and Jill Tahmooressi stand outside the Mexican Consulate in Miami, Monday, May 5, 2014, protesting the arrest of their son in Mexico. Andrew Tahmooressi, a Marine veteran who was arrested and jailed in Mexico on weapons charges for allegedly bringing guns across the border, says he never intended to leave the country but missed an exit when heading to meet friends in a border town. He told the newspaper that Mexican authorities found three guns inside the truck he had recently driven across the country to make a new start in San Diego. (AP Photo/J Pat Carter)
WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 01: Jill Tahmooressi (L) talks with Montel Williams during a House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee hearing on Capitol Hill October 1, 2014 in Washington, DC. The Subcommittee is hearing testimony on Andrew Tahmooressi who is being held in a Mexican prison for bringing firearms over the border after making a wrong turn. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
Jill Tahmooressi, mother of Marine Sgt. Andrew Tahmooressi, who was arrested in Mexico more than four months ago after he crossed the border in possession of guns and ammunition, at her Weston, Fla., home on August 7, 2014. (Carline Jean/Sun Sentinel/MCT via Getty Images)
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE
SHOW CAPTION +
HIDE CAPTION

WASHINGTON (AP) - A Marine jailed in Mexico on charges of bringing weapons into the country tried to kill himself after receiving threats of rape, torture and execution, his tearful mother told a House panel Wednesday. She said her son was suffering an ordeal worse than his two combat tours in Afghanistan.

Jill Tahmooressi's testimony came at a hearing designed to raise pressure on Mexico's government to release her son on humanitarian grounds. She outlined the difficulties her son, Sgt. Andrew Tahmooressi, encountered with post-traumatic stress before moving to California to seek treatment and, shortly thereafter, taking a wrong turn at a poorly indicated border area and accidentally entering Mexico. She expressed hope, however, that her son could be released in a matter of weeks.

Tahmooressi, who is now in the reserves, was arrested six months ago at a San Diego-Tijuana checkpoint after Mexican officials say they found a rifle, shotgun, pistol and hundreds of rounds of ammunition in his pickup truck. The 26-year-old says he was headed to dinner in San Ysidro, California, when he mistakenly wound up at the border crossing. He says all three guns were legally owned and were in his truck with all his other possessions as he had just moved from Florida.

Mexican justice officials say possession of weapons restricted for Army use is a federal crime.

Jill Tahmooressi read a series of what sounded like text messages or phone calls from her son, which she referred to as "quotes."

"Mom, I got lost. I made a wrong turn. I'm at the Mexican border. You need to know this because I've been surrounded by military," he told her on March 31 at 11:45 p.m. A day later: "Mom, I've been arrested. Please secure me an attorney."

The situation quickly got worse. On April 5, Tahmooressi told his mother, "I'm not going to make it through the night. Whatever you do, do not come down here to investigate. Do not come down here to ask questions. You will be killed as well. I need you to go underground. I need you to cancel your bank accounts."

Nine days later: "Mom, I tried to kill myself because the guards and the inmates were going to rape, torture and execute me for personal information. I needed to protect you."

After another week, he said: "Mom, it's been 25 days. I've been in four-point chain restraint spread-eagle on a cot in the infirmary."

Tahmooressi's mother and lawmakers who've visited him say in addition to the threats, he received treatment at a prison infirmary for a knife wound to his neck. Prosecutors say he was placed in the clinic of a Tijuana prison after he acted aggressively, tried to escape twice and physically hurt himself. He was then transferred to a prison in the border city of Tecate, Baja California. They say his rights have been respected, and he has been visited dozens of times by his lawyers, relatives, pastor and members of Congress.

Despite bipartisan sympathy for Tahmooressi, the hearing took on a political tone as Republicans and military members called as witnesses sought to contrast Tahmooressi's ongoing plight with the Obama administration's efforts to secure the release of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl. Afghan militants allowed Bergdahl to come home in May after holding him five years when the administration agreed to transfer five Taliban leaders held at the U.S. prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, to the Gulf emirate of Qatar.

Pressed by Rep. Matt Salmon, R-Ariz., who has visited Tahmooressi in Mexico and chaired Wednesday's House Foreign Affairs subcommittee hearing, Jill Tahmooressi said she has not been contacted at any point by President Barack Obama. To her knowledge, Obama has not raised her son's condition in discussions with Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto.

Salmon also pointed the finger at Mexico's government. Many Mexicans illegally cross into the United States, he said, and Mexican authorities seek compassionate treatment for them. "Frankly, compassion goes both ways," he said.

Jill Tahmooressi said her son is "desperate" to return home. She said his PTSD treatment plan has been aborted as Mexico doesn't have the ability to provide combat-related expressive group therapy as the United States does. He completed his second tour to Afghanistan in 2012 and finished active duty later that year. He is now in the Marine Reserve.

Despite the travail, Jill Tahmooressi expressed optimism that her son's case was advancing. At a Sept. 9 hearing in Mexico, eight hours of video surveillance was shown. She said it corroborated her son's account, and that a Mexican lawyer the family has hired believes dismissal or acquittal is possible in the coming weeks.

More on AOL.com
Child dies from complications of enterovirus
First female pilot to circle globe dies
Read Full Story

People are Reading