Arizona rancher who shot at foreign invaders on his property, allegedly killing one, rejects plea deal

NOGALES, AZ- One man has been caught up in the illegal immigrant crisis at the southern border. Arizona rancher George Alan Kelly stands accused of fatally shooting an illegal alien on his private property near the US-Mexico border last year. 

Kelly, 75, was arrested and charged in connection with the shooting death of 48-year-old illegal Gabriel Cuen-Buitimea of Nogales, Mexico, last January, charged with one count of second-degree murder and aggravated assault. 

Last week, Kelly rejected a plea deal offered by prosecutors that would have seen charges reduced to one count of negligent homicide, according to the Arizona Republic, as reported in The Epoch Times. A judge set a March 21 trial date for Kelly, to be held in Santa Cruz Superior Court and is expected to last three weeks. 

According to authorities, Kelly shot at a group of illegal aliens who were trespassing on his 170-acre cattle ranch in the Kino Springs area of Arizona, and the “victim” was among them. Prosecutors claim Kelly “recklessly” fired an AK-47 at the illegals, who were about 100 yards away from him. 

Kelly’s lawyer, however, disputes that account, saying Kelly fired warning shots into the air because he feared for his safety as well as his wife’s as well as the security of his property. The rest of the illegals escaped back into Mexico, authorities said. 

In March, Fox 10 Phoenix reported that according to a Border Patrol agent speaking to a 911 operator, Kelly was allegedly being “intentionally vague” about the events leading up to the Jan. 30, 2023 shooting. 

“What [Kelly] said was, in checking his property, he believes that he possibly struck something.” 

Afterward, a dispatcher spoke directly to Kelly. 

When the dispatcher told Kelly they had been told he had “shot at something,” Kelly responded, “I didn’t shoot at. I haven’t said I shot at anything,” Kelly added. 

The dispatcher told Kelly she needed to clarify if deputies were being sent into a dangerous situation. Kelly responded he found a dead body on the property and added that he didn’t believe EMTs could help. 

Kelly had previously called a Border Patrol Ranch Liaison to report an active shooting. Later, a Border Patrol agent, identified as a supervisor, called the sheriff’s office to request assistance but was unsure about Kelly. 

“I don’t know for sure that this guy’s getting shot at or not,” the agent said. “What sometimes happens is, some of our customers go through his property…I don’t know if he’s crazy or what’s going on.” 

“He’s made this call before,” the agent told the dispatcher. “It ended up just being aliens on his property. And he says the same thing. I think he’s just trying to get a quicker response out there. But obviously, we’ve got to take it.” 

When Kelly spoke to the Border Patrol agent, he denied shooting at anyone. 

In a call later that evening, Kelly told the dispatcher more about the body he said he found. 

“You know the saying, ‘You have the right to remain silent, anything you can…say can and will be held against you?’” Kelly asked the dispatcher.

“I’m not admitting to anything I’ve done,” Kelly added. “But you know, all of those things tend to add up. And I don’t know what happened. I just know what I just saw about 15 minutes ago. And it’s something that an ambulance cannot help.” 

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Comments

RAYMOND

Wish that more Americans had the guts to protect their country

James

NOT guilty ........

James

NOT guilty ........

Fritz

Let me understand this a little better. You own a cattle ranch and a group of illegal aliens are on your property. Remember all illegal aliens are by definition criminals. You confront them, you are out numbered by about 10 to 1. You are in the middle of nowhere and are alone. So you have a group of criminals trespassing on your property and one of them gets shot; I can't have much sympathy for them. If they had not crossed the border illegally and were not trespassing, none of this would have happened. Sounds like a clear case of the castle doctrine. If you want to blame someone, how about the Biden administration that has destroyed our borders and is doing everything possible to encourage the illegals to ignore and violate our laws and borders.

Laurence

Good for him! The fact that he was arrested for defending his property from the criminal illegals is an outrage! If the government would properly patrol the borders, citizens would never have to defend themselves.

Laurence

This is an outrage! He is a good man who was defending his property from criminal illegal invaders. He should given a medal, not arrested!

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