The family of Sgt. Andrew Tahmooressi has spent the last few days watching to see if Mexico is moving closer to dropping its charges against the U.S. Marine, who has been held in prison since March after entering the country with weapons.
But while it became clear last week that Tahmooressi might soon be able to return home, the family is warning that realistically, it might still take several weeks.
Jill Tahmooressi, mother of Marine Sgt. Andrew Tahmooressi who is imprisoned in Mexico, testified about her son's imprisonment in Mexico, and says it may still be several weeks before he can be released. Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call,Inc.
Last week, two members of Congress said they believe Tahmooressi's long prison ordeal may soon be over, as Mexico's attorney general said the charges against him could be dropped once Mexico in receipt of evidence that the Marine is suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. His PTSD is a factor because officials have said they cannot care for him properly in Mexico.
Lawmakers said at a Wednesday hearing that they sent medical information on Tahmooressi to Mexico in late September.
Comments from that hearing led to rumors that Tahmooressi might be released in the coming days. But Jill Tahmooressi, the Marine's mother, wrote in a Facebook post that there are still several steps to go before he might be sent home.
"What is happening is Attorney Fernando Benitez [Tahmooressi's attorney] has closed (rested) on the case," she wrote. "The next step in Andrew's case is the prosecutor has to respond to that motion by agreeing or disagreeing. The expectation is that they will agree to close. Closing remarks by both sides will then have to be prepared and presented. This will take a couple of weeks."
On Friday, Benitez told a Fox affiliate in California that the judge will still have to consider the evidence, and that closing arguments will be followed by another hearing and then a decision. "[P]rosecutors may elect to drop charges, although highly unlikely since it's never been done before," Benitez said.
On Friday, Jill Tahmooressi wrote on Facebook that "Andrew is anxiously awaiting the prosecutors to follow suit and to 'close' as well. Praying I will hear news on that today, Friday."
While signs emerged last week that Tahmooressi might soon be released, his mother called on supporters to keep pressure on Congress and the Obama administration to work for his release.
"We CANNOT cease nor slow down our efforts of contacting our elected officials and continuing with rallies and events in support of Andrew's release AND getting out the awareness of PTSD that Andrew and so many of our veterans suffer," she wrote.
If Tahmooressi can be released soon, credit may end up with Congress instead of the Obama administration. Last week, Montel Williams said the Obama administration hasn't done enough to work for his release.
Additionally, White House Spokesman Josh Earnest said Vice President Joe Biden did not call top Mexican officials to ask for Tahmooressi's release, and instead said the State Department was handling the issue. That led to more criticism that the White House isn't doing as much as it could on behalf of the Marine.