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Arizona rancher George Alan Kelly will not be retried after deadlocked jury

via KGUN 9
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The prosecutor decided not to retry the Arizona rancher charged with murder after a mistrial was declared when the jury deadlocked.

The rancher, George Kelly, had shot and killed a Mexican migrant, Gabriel Cuen-Buitimea, who was illegally present on Kelly’s property near the border.

“Because of the unique circumstances and challenges surrounding this case, the Santa Cruz County Attorney’s Office has decided not to seek a retrial,” Deputy County Attorney Kimberly Hunley stated.

While the prosecution argued Kelly recklessly fired an AK-47 toward the group of men, the defense maintained Kelly only fired warning shots and his wife had reported seeing armed men near their home.

The defense suggested cartel influence may have affected the investigation.

“He escalates the situation. His wife is fine,” prosecutor Mike Jette said. “You do not have the right to use deadly physical force to protect a person who didn’t need protecting. You don’t have the right to use deadly force when there is no threat to home or yard, and you don’t have the right to initiate, instigate or escalate with deadly force. No right whatsoever.”

“Long story short, this is simply not somebody who’s looking for the American dream. There’s no evidence that this person is here for those kinds of benign purposes,” Kelly’s defense attorney, Brenna Larkin, stated. “And we bring that up, not, you know, to be judgmental about Gabriel or to not have compassion for him. But when people are involved in a criminal lifestyle, it’s dangerous. It’s more inherently dangerous than simply being a migrant who’s coming here. So it’s relevant for that reason.”

With the jury unable to reach agreement, the prosecutor ultimately chose not to seek a retrial due to the challenges of the case.

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