Judge Rules Mistrial In Case Of Rancher Accused Of Killing Illegal Migrant – One America News Network

MIAMI - FEBRUARY 02: A judges gavel rests on top of a desk in the courtroom of the newly opened Black Police Precinct and Courthouse Museum February 3, 2009 in Miami, Florida. The museum is located in the only known structure in the nation that was designed, devoted to and operated as a separate station house and municipal court for African-Americans. In September 1944, the first black patrolmen were sworn in as emergency policemen to enforce the law in what was then called the "Central Negro District." The precinct building opened in May 1950 to provide a station house for the black policemen and a courtroom for black judges in which to adjudicate black defendants. The building operated from 1950 until its closing in 1963. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
(Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

OAN’s Brooke Mallory
2:27 PM – Tuesday, April 23, 2024

The trial of George Alan Kelly, a rancher and resident of Kino Springs who is accused of killing Gabriel Cuen Buitimea, a Mexican citizen who illegally crossed the U.S. border onto Kelly’s property, was ruled a mistrial by a Superior Court judge following more than two days of jury deliberations.


Kelly had directed authorities to the body of Cuen Buitimea, a Mexican national, whose body was found laying on his ranch.

Kelly was then taken into custody on January 30th, 2023, after explaining that he only shot his firearm into the air in order to scare the unexpected intruders away.

Nevertheless, Kelly was still charged with second-degree murder by the prosecution, who claimed that he “shot defenseless, unauthorized migrants,” including Cuen Buitimea, with his AK-47.

Kelly has consistently maintained his innocence through his attorneys, saying that he was threatened by the armed men on his property, which is why he fired defensive warning bullets into the air. Kelly’s defenders said throughout the trial that Cuen Buitimea was not hit by Kelly’s bullets and that the Sheriff’s Office neglected to look into other potential possibilities.

“Kelly… fired nine shots from an AK-47 rifle toward a group of men, including Cuen-Buitimea, about 100 yards (90 meters),” the Independent outlet reported.

After a four-week trial, Judge Thomas Fink questioned the jury foreman on Monday afternoon about the possibility of the eight-member panel reaching a verdict.

“Is it your opinion as the foreperson that if the court were to provide you with additional time and any other resources or any other materials or evidence that I can, that that would not be a fruitful endeavor and that you would still as a jury be deadlocked and unable to reach a verdict?” Fink asked.

“I believe that we would still be deadlocked and not able to reach a verdict, your honor,” the foreman stated.

Kelly entered a not-guilty plea.

Defense lawyers working for Kelly went on to say that since investigators mishandled the case and were already biased against him, it is unlikely that they will ever find the person who killed Cuen Buitimea. Kelly maintains that his shots could not have killed the migrant.

However, the case’s prosecutors claim that Kelly fired shots without notice or justification at the illegal intruders, Cuen Buitimea and Daniel Ramirez, as they crossed his property. Ramirez was one of the case’s witnesses who agreed to work with prosecutors.

“We do not believe resuming deliberations will change juror opinions,” Fink quoted, reading the jurors’ notes aloud. 

“Your Honor… the state requests that the court declare a mistrial,” Deputy County Attorney Kimberly Hunley responded, who led the prosecution.

Meanwhile, during his Friday afternoon court appearance, Fink urged the jury to keep deliberating.

“I am not trying to force or coerce a verdict. That is not my intention, that’s not my job and that is not what I’m doing,” Fink said. “But I do have a responsibility after a tremendous amount of work has been put in to getting this trial to this place … to make sure that you do your job, follow your oaths and to work as hard and long as you possibly can to reach a verdict.”

Next week, the court will reconvene to determine if a retrial is warranted.

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Brooke Mallory
Author: Brooke Mallory

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