California Deputy Public Defender Killed in Mexico

A deputy public defender from California has died while on vacation in Mexico, but differing explanations are being offered as to how.

The Orange County Register is reporting that Elliot Blair of the Orange County Public Defender’s Office was “slain” Saturday, writing that “Public Defender Martin Schwarz confirmed” the information.

Blair and his wife were celebrating their first wedding anniversary, Schwarz said,

The media outlet said, “It appeared Blair was the victim of a crime, but further details were not known. The crime did not involve his wife.”

A second report from the Orange County Register said Blair, 33, is reported by local media in Mexico to have died accidentally after falling from a balcony at the Las Rocas Resort and Spa.

The story of a four-story fall came from Mexican police via the Spanish-language news outlet Patrulla 646 Código Rojo. That report said hotel staff found Blair’s body at about 1:15 a.m. Saturday.

According to the Orange County Register, Mexican police said they came upon evidence that Blair had been under the influence of alcohol when he died, though the outlet made sure to note that “it’s not clear what that evidence was.”

The claim by the Mexican police does not mesh with what was written on a GoFundMe page set up by Annie Rodriguez.

That page reported that Blair “was tragically killed,” though it’s worth noting that it’s not abundantly clear what Rodriguez’s connection to Blair is.

“We wish we could provide everyone with more information, but very limited information has been disclosed by authorities in Mexico. He was the victim of a brutal crime. His family is working with US Officials to gain more information,” the site said, without offering details.

The Orange County Register said it tried to reach her for comment but was unable to do so.

Democratic Rep. Lou Correa of California was also trying to pry details from Mexican authorities, according to the Orange County Register.

According to the Orange County Register, Schwarz called Blair a “devoted husband, terrific person and a fantastic lawyer who dedicated his life to serving his clients and helping the county’s most vulnerable.”

“He impacted countless lives and his loss will be felt deeply by all who knew him. We have been in communication with the family and are doing what we can to support them in this difficult time, including working with local and federal officials to help provide them with answers,” he said.

Blair’s widow, Kim, also works for the public defender’s office.

“Elliot and Kim have been dedicated Public Defenders in Orange County, CA since 2017. Elliot was a compassionate lawyer who dedicated his life to serving indigent clients. Elliot was known as a patient and caring advocate. He was the best of us and was loved by countless members of our office and the Orange County legal community. We are heartbroken,” the GoFundMe page said.

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.


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