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Last Updated: Friday, 22 December 2006, 11:46 GMT
Man fights to keep bullet in head
Joshua Bush
Mr Bush's lawyers say removal would infringe civil rights
A search warrant has been issued in the US for a potentially vital clue to a violent crime - a bullet lodged in a teenager's head.

Texan prosecutors want the bullet, embedded under the skin in 17-year-old Joshua Bush's forehead, to be removed.

They say it could help convict Mr Bush of the attempted murder of a used-car salesman in a row following a robbery.

The case has raised privacy concerns, with Mr Bush's lawyers fighting to have the bullet remain in his head.

'Big old knot'

Prosecutors say the 9mm bullet became lodged in the soft fatty tissue in Mr Bush's forehead in a shootout with the car salesman.

Police say Alan Olive returned fire after Mr Bush tried to shoot him.

I just can't believe I missed him at that distance
Alan Olive, businessman

They say Mr Bush was part of a gang that had tried to take cars from the forecourt.

Identified to police by other gang members, Mr Bush was interviewed.

Mr Olive, a competitive pistol shooter, said a man returned after the police had investigated, threatening to kill him if he gave evidence. The shootout followed.

"I just can't believe I missed him at that distance," Mr Olive says in court papers.

Prosecutor Ramon Rodriguez told Associated Press news agency that Mr Bush "looked like hell. He had a big old knot on his forehead".

Mr Rodriguez said Mr Bush later said he was hit by a stray bullet while on his couch in his flat.

A judge issued a warrant for the bullet's removal in October but a doctor said he did not have the proper tools.

A second operation was ordered for last week at a hospital but that was postponed for unspecified reasons.

Now Mr Bush's lawyers say the removal would be a denial of his civil rights, although the surgery would not be life threatening.

The lawyers base their case on the constitution's protection against unreasonable searches.

Rife Kimler, Mr Bush's lawyer, told AP: "When the medical profession divorces itself from its own responsibility and makes itself an arm of the state, it's a dangerous path."

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