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Kelly trial continues with more witness testimony

George Alan Kelly is on trial facing charges of second degree murder
Posted at 5:12 PM, Apr 05, 2024

NOGALES, Ariz. (KGUN) — The trial of George Allan Kelly, a Santa Cruz County rancher, continued today with Sergeant Omar Rodriguez taking the stand for a second day of testimony.

Kelly is being charged with second-degree murder for the shooting death of Gabriel Cuen Buitimea, a Mexican national who was allegedly crossing Kelly’s land.

During the morning session, the defense focused on questioning Rodriguez about his handling of the crime scene.

In response to the defense's inquiries, Rodriguez explained the procedures followed in obtaining a search warrant.

"The search warrant was obtained on probable cause that a crime had been committed at the property," Rodriguez said.

He clarified that he had not instructed any deputies to arrest Kelly as a suspect.

The prosecution, on the other hand, honed in on a comment Kelly made to Rodriguez regarding rigor mortis.

"It was a statement not commonly used by a civilian or a regular person that doesn’t work in law enforcement," Rodriguez said. "That made me think that if he knows that rigor has set in, he was already with the body."

Earlier this week, testimony from the Department of Public Safety experts revealed that none of the victim’s DNA was found on Kelly, and there were no signs of Kelly’s DNA on the victim’s clothes.

Prosecutors allege that Kelly shot the victim from outside his house. The trial is set to continue on Tuesday, with jurors expected to visit the crime scene sometime next week.

Eddie Celaya is a multimedia journalist at KGUN 9. Born in Tucson and raised in the Phoenix area, Eddie is a life-long Arizonan and graduate of the University of Arizona who loves the desert and mountains and hates the cold. Previously, Eddie worked in print media at the Arizona Daily Star. Share your story ideas with Eddie at, or by connecting on Facebook or Instagram.