Mistrial Declared in Arizona Rancher's Trial for Shooting Immigrant on US-Mexico Border

The trial of George Alan Kelly, an Arizona rancher accused of shooting and killing an unarmed immigrant on his land close to the border between the United States and Mexico, has been ruled a mistrial.

The jury failed to reach a judgment on April 19, so Judge Thomas Fink sent them home for the weekend. This is the most recent information. The talks got again underway on April 22.

Judge Thomas Fink said, "This case is in mistrial based upon the jury's inability to reach a verdict on any count."

Kelly's legal representation, the Santa Cruz County Attorney's Office, has the option to retry Kelly on any charge or to dismiss the case altogether.

Prosecutors were to notify the court at a status hearing on Monday afternoon of next week whether they intended to refile the case. Email inquiries for further information from the prosecutors were not immediately answered.

After a trial that lasted over a month in a presidential election year that saw a lot of interest in border security, the jury decided to proceed with the case. As presidential election heats up and vitriol against immigrants increases, some on the political right have backed the rancher.

Regarding Gabriel Cuen-Buitimea's shooting on January 30, 2023, Kelly, 75, was charged with second-degree murder.

Cuen-Buitimea, a 48-year-old Mexican, resided in Nogales, just south of the border. Cuen-Buitimea was deported in 2016 after entering the country illegally many times, according to court documents.

Kelly allegedly fired nine bullets from an AK-47 weapon indiscriminately at a group of males, including Cuen-Buitimea, around 90 meters (or 100 yards) away on his property, according to prosecutor Mike Jette.

Kelly said that while he did not shoot straight at anybody, he did fire warning bullets into the air.

Aorta rupture and three fractured ribs were among Cuen-Buitimea's injuries, according to Jette. Kelly's ranch home was just 115 yards (105 meters) from his unarmed corpse.

On the patio of the house, investigators discovered nine expended shell casings from Kelly's AK-47; however, the bullet that killed Cuen-Buitimea was never located.


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