Mistrial Declared after Arizona Resident Shot Unarmed Immigrant Intruder on His Property

Phoenix, AZ: A mistrial has been declared for George Kelly, an Arizona border rancher accused of killing an unarmed migrant on his property near the US-Mexico border.

This latest event occurred after Judge Thomas Fink sent jurors home for the weekend on April 19, after they failed to reach a verdict that day. Deliberations resumed on April 22.

“Based upon the jury’s inability to reach a verdict on any count,” Judge Thomas Fink said, “This case is in mistrial.”

The Santa Cruz County Attorney’s Office can still decide whether to retry Kelly on any charge or dismiss the case entirely as per FOX10 Phoenix.

A status hearing was planned for next Monday afternoon, at which prosecutors could inform the judge whether they intend to re-file the case. Prosecutors did not immediately respond to emails requesting additional information.

The jury decided the case following a nearly one-month trial in a presidential election year that has sparked broad concern about border security. As anti-migrant sentiments and presidential campaigns intensify, some on the political right have rallied behind the rancher.

A mistrial has been declared in the case of George Kelly, a rancher accused of killing a migrant on his land in Southern Arizona.

Kelly, 75, faces second-degree murder charges in the shooting of Gabriel Cuen-Buitimea on January 30, 2023.

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Cuen-Buitimea, 48, lives just south of the border in Nogales, Mexico. According to court documents, Cuen-Buitimea entered the United States illegally several times before being deported, the most recent in 2016.

According to prosecutor Mike Jette, Kelly recklessly fired nine shots from an AK-47 rifle at a group of males, including Cuen-Buitimea, roughly 100 yards (90 meters) away on his land.

Kelly claimed he fired warning rounds into the air, but not directly at anyone.

According to Jette, Cuen-Buitimea suffered three shattered ribs and a severed aorta. Kelly’s ranch house was 115 yards (105 meters) away from his unarmed body.

Investigators discovered nine spent bullet casings from Kelly’s AK-47 on the home’s terrace, but the bullet that killed Cuen-Buitimea was never found.