Frustrated Judge Takes An Unexpected Step During Murder Trial

( — The judge presiding over the ongoing murder trial of an Arizona rancher who fatally shot a migrant on his property last year expressed his frustration with how long the trial was taking by walking out of the proceedings, The Associated Press reported.

Superior Court Judge Thomas Fink told prosecutors and defense counsel that he would impose time limits on testimony to ensure that the case, which began on March 22, would go to the jury by April 18.

George Alan Kelly, 75, is charged with second-degree murder for shooting Gabriel Cuen-Buitimea, an illegal alien Kelly encountered on his ranch near Nogales, Arizona, along the southern border on January 30, 2023.

Prosecutors allege that Kelly fired shots from an AK-47 rifle at a group of illegals as they were walking through his Kino Springs ranch. Kelly maintains that he only fired warning shots in the air and did not fire directly at the migrants.

Jurors were taken to Kelly’s ranch on Thursday to see the scene where the shooting took place and tour various locations, including a section of the nearby border. Judge Fink denied requests from news media outlets to join the visit.

While it is rare to take jurors on a visit to a crime scene, the judge suggested that it would give the jurors a better sense of how the event unfolded and give clarity to witness testimony about the shooting.

The 48-year-old Cuen-Buitimea lived just over the Arizona-Mexico border in the Mexican city of Nogales. He had previously been convicted of illegal entry and had been deported back to Mexico multiple times, most recently in 2016.

Cuen-Buitimea was among a group of eight migrants who were crossing Kelly’s 170-acre cattle ranch when he was shot. The bullet that killed Cuen-Buitemea was never recovered.

Two others who crossed paths with Cuen-Buitimea came forward to the police about the shooting.

In early January, Kelly rejected a plea offer that would have reduced the charge to negligent homicide.

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