BY Richard Moorhead, The Western JournalFebruary 27, 2023
1 year ago
 | February 27, 2023
1 year ago

Mexican Man Testifies That Man Shot by Rancher Had Crossed Border Illegally as Case Moves to Higher Court

New details have emerged in a shooting that led to the death of an illegal immigrant on an Arizona rancher's property.

One witness revealed that a Mexican national shot dead on the property of Arizona rancher George Alan Kelly crossed the border illegally in Friday court testimony, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Kelly is facing a second-degree murder charge in connection to the shooting death of Gabriel Cuen-Buitimea.

He's also facing aggravated assault charges for what prosecutors say were shots fired at other fleeing illegal aliens.

An anonymous illegal migrant testified that he entered the United States after paying smugglers to infiltrate the border with Cuen-Buitimea, speaking in an evidentiary hearing in Nogales, Arizona.

"I turned around to see if it was government agents coming after us."

"I was able to jump and I jumped the wall back to Mexico," the witness, identified only as "D.R.R," stated in the hearing.

An attorney for Kelly has denied that her client shot Cuen-Buitimea, according to the Los Angeles Times.

She said the 74-year-old rancher retrieved his weapon and fired warning shots after observing a group of armed, camouflaged men who allegedly threatened him with their own rifles.

The rancher had heard a single gunshot in the vicinity of his Kino Springs property north of the U.S. -- Mexico border.

Kelly found the body of the deceased illegal migrant on his property later on the evening of Jan. 30, according to a court document filed by his attorney and obtained by Fox News.

The rancher called Customs and Border Patrol after the first exchange of gunfire, having been "understandably concerned and reasonably feared for his safety, his wife’s safety, and his animals’ safety," according to defense attorney Brenna Larkin.

Three detectives also testified in the Friday hearing in support of the criminal charges against Kelly, according to KOLD-TV.

One detective cited the account of an illegal alien subsequently arrested for human smuggling -- after escaping what he described as a shooting on the part of Kelly.

Santa Cruz County Justice of the Peace Emilio G. Velasquez assigned the case to the Santa Cruz County Superior Court after Friday's evidentiary hearing, according to the Associated Press.

Kelly secured a $1 million cash bond after a fundraising drive for his pre-trial release on GiveSendGo.

The Arizona rancher is slated for an arraignment hearing on March 6, according to KOLD.

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

Written by: Richard Moorhead, The Western Journal



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