Arizona Rancher Held on $1 Million Bond Fired Warning Shots After an Armed Group of Men “Pointed an AK-47 Right at Him”
George Alan Kelly
Kino Springs, AZ – A 73-year-old Arizona rancher was arrested and charged with first-degree murder for fatally shooting a Mexican migrant (likely an illegal alien) on his ranch.
George Alan Kelly, 73, was arrested for killing Gabriel Cuen-Butimea, on his Arizona ranch in Kino Springs just outside of Nogales, Mexico on January 30.
Kelly is being held at the Santa Cruz County jail on $1 million bond.
George Kelly asked the judge to reduce his bail so he can go home to take care of his wife.
“She’s there by herself… nobody to take care of her, the livestock or the ranch,” he said, according to Nogales International. “And I’m not going anywhere. I can’t come up with a million dollars,” he said.
According to reports, Gabriel Cuen-Butimea has a history of illegally crossing into the United States and multiple deportations.
He is believed to have been in the US illegally when he was fatally shot.
Authorities found a Mexican voter registration card on the decedent.
According to the defense lawyers, Mr. Kelly fired warning shots after he saw a group of men dressed in camouflaged clothing point an AK-47 right at him.
George Alan Kelly was careful to shoot above their heads, the lawyers said.
The rancher later discovered the deceased man after he went to check on his horse.
“As the sun was going down later that day, Kelly went to his pastures to check on his horse, still concerned the horse might have been injured in the incident. Noticing that the dogs he took with him were focused on something on the ground near a mesquite tree, Kelly approached the area and “observed a body lying face down in the grass,” Larkin wrote. He then called the Border Patrol ranch liaison a third time to report the discovery and request assistance from law enforcement.” – Fox News reported.
Fox News reported:
“Finally, he saw a group of men moving through the trees around his home. They were armed with AK-47 rifles, dressed in khakis and camouflaged clothing and carrying large backpacks,” Larkin wrote. “None of them were known to him. He had not given any of them permission to come onto his land.”
Because he was “understandably concerned and reasonably feared for his safety, his wife’s safety, and his animals’ safety,” Kelly called the U.S. Border Patrol ranch liaison, specifically assigned to aid people living on borderlands, to report what he had seen and “to summon immediate help,” Larkin wrote.
Telling his wife to stay inside, silent and away from windows, Kelly went onto his porch with his rifle.
“The leader of the armed group of men saw Mr. Kelly and pointed an AK-47 right at him,” Larkin wrote. “Mr. Kelly, fearing for his life and safety, fired several shots from his rifle, hoping to scare them away from him, his wife, his animals, and his home. As he shot, Mr. Kelly took care to aim well over the heads of the armed group of men. The group then began running into the desert surrounding his home. Once the group had fled, Mr. Kelly walked over to his barn to see if it was safe and secure.”
The filing notes Kelly had a second conversation with the Border Patrol ranch liaison that ended at approximately 2:36 p.m. Even though Kelly reported that he heard a single shot and that the men he had seen were armed, the liaison “incorrectly reported” that Kelly stated he could not tell whether the men were armed or not, Larkin wrote. The radio dispatch to the Border Patrol agents en route to the property at approximately 2:40 p.m. “correctly reported that armed men had been seen in the area.”
Defense lawyers say George Alan Kelly had a right to shoot the illegal alien if he reasonably feared for his safety.
George Alan Kelly is an elderly man who was in fear for his life and acted quickly to protect his wife and animals.
The ranch was surrounded by fencing with ‘no trespassing’ and ‘private property’ signs posted everywhere.
A GiveSendGo account that was set up to help George Alan Kelly has raised over $250,000.
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Author: Cristina Laila