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George Alan Kelly jurors leave courthouse, visit site of shooting

Kelly is charged in the death of a Mexican national on his ranch
Posted at 5:18 PM, Apr 11, 2024
and last updated 2024-04-11 20:18:44-04

NOGALES, Ariz. (KGUN) — Jurors got out of the courtroom and onto George Alan Kelly’s ranch as his second degree murder trial continued. It was part of an unusual day in and out of court.

George Allen Kelly’s ranch is practically a character in his murder trial. Distances, layouts and sight lines are important to the case, so jurors went on a bit of a field trip.

About 1:30 p.m. Thursday a van headed out of the Santa Cruz County Court Complex holding jurors heading out to see the shooting site for themselves. Usually judges order jurors not to go to a scene but in the Kelly trial prosecutors and defense attorneys wanted jurors to see the ranch.

RELATED: Jurors to visit George Alan Kelly property in rancher’s murder trial

Jurors to visit ranch in rancher’s murder trial

Judge Thomas Fink briefed the jurors on what to expect. The plan is to simply view key locations but not discuss what they see among themselves. They’ll be able to ask questions back in the courtroom.

Judge Fink told the jurors: “There are fourteen different locations that the parties have agreed to and we’ll see. You’re going to get something like the key to a map. There’s one through fourteen described in a very objective description.”

There’s been testimony about how Kelly was inside his house when he says he heard a shot, and saw smugglers crossing through his ranch and testimony about how the victim was shot about 110 yards from where Kelly says he fired warning shots—and warning shots only— from his patio.


The day began with Judge Fink prodding attorneys to pick up the pace of the trial. He said he expected the trial to take three weeks—but three weeks have gone by with the prosecution still presenting its part of the case.
The defense has been running prosecution witnesses through long cross examinations. Judge Fink said he will set limits on how long questioning can go. Kelly’s attorney Brenna Larkin did not like that.

She told the judge: “Limiting me to five minutes of cross examination violates Mr Kelly’s Constitutional rights.”

Judge Fink replied: “You now have four minutes. Call the witness.”

The defense says it expects to need about two days to present its side of the case. Kelly’s lawyers say they may or may not call Kelly as a witness to defend himself. Judge Fink now says he expects the case to go to the jury next Thursday.

Craig Smith is a reporter for KGUN 9. With more than 40 years of reporting in cities like Tampa, Houston and Austin, Craig has covered more than 40 Space Shuttle launches and covered historic hurricanes like Katrina, Ivan, Andrew and Hugo. Share your story ideas and important issues with Craig by emailing or by connecting on Facebook and Twitter.