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State will not seek retrial in case against George Alan Kelly

A hearing will be scheduled at a later date to determine whether Kelly's case will be dismissed with or without prejudice
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Posted at 8:21 AM, Apr 29, 2024

SANTA CRUZ COUNTY, Ariz. (KGUN) — UPDATE 1:35 p.m.

The state says it has decided not to seek a retrial in the case of George Alan Kelly. The defense has asked to have the case dropped with prejudice.

Watch today's hearing in the video player above.

A hearing will be set to consider the defense's request at a later date.

Outside the courthouse, demonstrator Tracy Peterson told KGUN 9 why she traveled down from Tucson to Nogales for the hearing.

"It provides and indication to people it's open season," Peterson said. "That migrants are crossing and they're on your property, that it's reasonable to shoot."

Kelly, upon leaving the courthouse with no retrial on the horizon, said simply to KGUN 9 that he was feeling a sense of relief, concluding with "thank God."

UPDATE 1p.m.

Demonstrators have gathered outside the courthouse in Santa Cruz County, stating support for the state to re-try George Alan Kelly in the shooting death of Gabriel Cuen Buitimea.

ORIGINAL STORY:

George Alan Kelly will be back in Santa Cruz County court this afternoon after a mistrial was declared last Monday.

A mistrial does not count toward double-jeopardy, so the state will be deciding if they plan to try the case again, or drop the charges.

The state charged Kelly with second degree murder as they argued he shot and killed a migrant, Gabriel Cuen-Buitimea, who was on his land in January of 2023.

There were lesser charges included in the case, but the eight jurors could not come to a unanimous decision after a month long trial.

After the mistrial was declared, Kelly made a brief statement to the media.

"I will keep fighting forever, I won't stop," Kelly said.

One of Kelly's defense lawyers also spoke to the media after the mistrial and said the jury was 7-1 for not guilty.

"That message should be, try it again, and maybe this time we will have all fair jurors," Kelly Lowthorp said.

Neither the prosecution or any jurors spoke to the media after Monday.

The Mexican Consul General in Nogales did make a brief statement, saying they still hope justice will be served for Cuen-Buitimea.

"Mexico will continue to accompany the family of Mr. Cuen-Buitimea as they look for justice," Marcos Moreno Baez said.

The hearing begins at 1:30 p.m. and this article will be updated when new information becomes available.