Arizona Rancher Will Not Face Retrial In Migrant Shooting Death

( — Prosecutors in Arizona will not seek a second trial in the murder case of Arizona rancher George Alan Kelly after the judge declared a mistrial in the case last week.

Jurors were unable to reach a verdict despite two days of deliberations, prompting Superior Court Judge Thomas Fink to declare a mistrial, leaving prosecutors from the Santa Cruz County Attorney’s Office with the decision on whether to either seek a new trial or drop the case.

Prosecutor Kimberly Hunley told the judge on Monday that the county attorney’s office would not seek a retrial due to “the unique circumstances and challenges” of the case.

Judge Fink dismissed the case but set a hearing to determine if the case should be dismissed with prejudice, meaning the prosecution would not be able to try Kelly again.

Defense attorney Brenna Larkin said she would file a motion for the case to be dismissed with prejudice.

George Kelly told reporters after Monday’s hearing that he was relieved that the “nightmare” was over.

Protesters were waiting outside of the courthouse, demanding justice for the Mexican man who was fatally shot on Kelly’s property in January last year.

The 75-year-old Kelly was arrested in the fatal shooting of Gabriel Cuen-Buitimea, 48, and charged with second-degree murder.

Buitimea and other illegal aliens entered the United States from Nogales, Mexico, and had been crossing Kelly’s ranch on January 30, 2023, when Kelly opened fire. Cuen-Buitimea was fatally shot, and the bullet was never found.

Prosecutors accused Kelly of recklessly firing his AK-47 at the group of illegals from about 100 yards away.

In January, Kelly rejected an offer from prosecutors to plead guilty to the lesser charge of negligent homicide. The rancher insisted that he only fired into the air and not directly at the migrants.

Cuen-Buitimea had been deported from the US multiple times in the past after being convicted of entering the United States illegally.

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