Rancher Charged with Killing Illegal Immigrant Gets Huge Win from Judge

Rancher Charged with Killing Illegal Immigrant Gets Huge Win from Judge

The trial of George Alan Kelly, an Arizona rancher accused of killing an illegal immigrant on his property in 2023, has concluded with a mistrial.

Following deliberations on Friday and Monday, which totaled 15 hours, the jury was unable to reach a verdict, leading to the mistrial announcement by Santa Cruz County Superior Court Judge Thomas Fink, as reported by KSAZ-TV in Phoenix.

Kelly, speaking to reporters after the mistrial declaration, expressed determination, stating, “They won’t wear me down,” as noted by the Arizona Republic.

Prosecutors now have the option to either retry the case or drop the charges against Kelly.

Kelly had been charged with second-degree murder in connection with the death of Gabriel Cuen-Buitimea, 48, who had entered the U.S. illegally multiple times and had been deported previously.

According to the prosecution, Kelly allegedly fired nine shots at a group of illegal immigrants, while Kelly maintained that he fired warning shots into the air. The fatal bullet that struck Cuen-Buitimea was not recovered.

Kelly’s wife, Wanda Kelly, expressed frustration with the process, stating, “I feel like I’ve been in suspension for 15 months, and I’m getting nowhere, and I’m still on that treadmill. We have to wait a little longer.”

Kelly himself expressed concern for his wife’s well-being throughout the ordeal.

The prosecution portrayed the incident as a departure from expected behavior, arguing that Kelly’s actions were unreasonable, as reported by ABC News.

On the other hand, the defense contended that the motives of the illegal immigrants on Kelly’s property were not benign. Defense attorney Brenna Larkin argued, “Long story short, this is simply not somebody who’s looking for the American dream. There’s no evidence that this person is here for those kinds of benign purposes.” Larkin stressed that engaging in a criminal lifestyle inherently involves risks and dangers.

The trial’s conclusion leaves the case in a state of uncertainty, with the possibility of further legal proceedings ahead.

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