KGUN 9NewsBorder Watch


Jury could not reach verdict in Kelly trial; deliberations continue Monday

Posted: 4:08 PM, Apr 19, 2024
Updated: 2024-04-19 21:32:14-04

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NOGALES, Ariz. (KGUN) — The jury could not reach a verdict in the George Alan Kelly trial on Friday, which means they will be back to continue deliberations on Monday.

The Santa Cruz County rancher is accused of killing a migrant on his property. The jury began deliberating mid-afternoon Thursday after about four weeks of testimony.

It was not in dispute whether George Alan Kelly stepped out on his patio and fired nine shots from an AK-47 across his ranchland. He said he heard a gunshot, saw armed men on his ranch and fired over their heads to drive them off.

What was in dispute was whether one of his shots hit and killed Gabriel Cuen Buitimea. Another man said he and Buitimea were trying to avoid Border Patrol and were running back towards Mexico when he heard shots and Buitimea fell with a gunshot wound.

The bullet went through him and kept going. It was never recovered for any forensic match to Kelly’s gun.

Kelly’s attorney’s suggested the victim died some time after Kelly fired his shots and that border bandits were the real killers so they could steal drugs and money from Buitimea.

But prosecutors say Kelly gave conflicting statements about how many intruders there were, and whether they had guns or not. And asked why Kelly never told detectives he had even fired his gun until a half hour into an interrogation, Kelly's defense said he was stressed and fearful—not evasive—and that he told a Border Patrol agent he had fired shots, and thought the agent shared that with other investigators